DEAL MOMENTUM

By Melinda Rogers, media relations manager, S.J. Quinney College of Law

Cathy Hwang, an associate professor at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law, recently participated in the Stanford/Yale/Harvard Junior Faculty Forum at Stanford Law School on June 6-7. Her paper, Deal Momentum, is forthcoming in the UCLA Law Review, and explores the role of non-binding agreements in sophisticated, high-value business deals. She previewed her research with colleagues at the forum.

“Parties often use term sheets and letters of intent in deals. These agreements aren’t binding, but parties behave as though they are. Deal Momentum provides an account of how parties use these agreements to carry momentum forward in a deal. The article uses original interviews with deal lawyers to shed light on a little-understood but important bit of contract theory,” said Hwang, describing her research. “This is part of a larger research agenda about the boundaries of dealmaking which has important implications for contract design, enforcement and regulation.”

Papers are selected for the Stanford/Yale/Harvard Junior Faculty Forum through a highly competitive blind review process. During the forum, accomplished senior scholars comment on the merits and methodology of papers to give junior faculty experience in the pursuit of scholarship and the nature of scholarly exchange.

“The Junior Faculty Forum, jointly sponsored by the three best law schools in the country, is a nationally recognized workshop for up and coming law faculty in all subject areas. Professor Hwang’s selection reflects the high quality of her work, the impressive research agenda into which Deal Momentum fits, and her reputation for collaboration and collegiality within the business law community,” said Amelia Rinehart, associate dean of faculty and research development at the S.J. Quinney College of Law. “She’s clearly an asset to the College of Law in many ways and we are extremely proud of her early career success.”

Hwang received her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and joined the S.J. Quinney faculty in 2016. Prior to joining the faculty, she was the academic fellow at Stanford University’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance, where she is remains affiliated as a non-resident fellow.

Her work has been published by the University of Pennsylvania Law Review and the Northwestern University Law Review.

It has been a busy start to the summer for Hwang, who along with law professor Jeff Schwartz, organized the recent National Business Law Scholars Conference at the S.J. Quinney College of Law on June 8-9. The annual business law  conference draws legal scholars from across the United States and around the world.