Law and Biomedicine Colloquium

Law and Biomedicine Colloquium

The Law and Biomedicine Colloquium brings together scholars, practitioners in our community, law students, and law faculty for seminar-style discussion of complex and controversial topics in the field. We are excited to be welcoming four distinguished scholars from other law schools in the region, as well as leaders in legal practice in law and the biosciences. Registered students at the College of Law will receive one hour of credit for participating in the colloquium; other interested participants are welcome to join us. Visit the Center web page to learn more about the Center for Law and Biomedical Sciences. Search for upcoming Colloquium events »

2017 Law and Biomedicine Colloquium video archive

March 1, 2017
Liza Vertinsky – Alternative Business Forms for Companies in Healthcare Markets
Liza Vertinsky is an Associate Professor at Emory School of Law. She came to Emory in 2007 after a decade of legal practice focusing on intellectual property transactions. Her areas of expertise include intellectual property, innovation, the intersection of IP and global health, and law and economics. Her research program is motivated by a deep interest in how legal rules – particularly patent law and contract law – influence the ways in which individuals and groups organize their economic activities. She is particularly interested in exploring the institutional environments within which alternative forms of intellectual production take place, with a focus on biomedical innovation and innovations in global health. Read more »

February 22, 2017
Katherine L. Watson – The Ethics of Abortion and the Law of Abortion: How Much Must They Overlap?
Katherine L. Watson is an Associate Professor of Medical Education and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern University. Watson has been an award-winning teacher of bioethics, medical humanities, and law to medical students and graduate students at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, and a member of the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Ethics Committee, for over a decade. Read more »

February 15, 2017
Tensile Brown – Mental Illness: Character, Habit, or Physical trait?
Brown’s research is highly interdisciplinary, and spans a wide range of issues at the intersection of law, biotechnology, medicine, and ethics. She is currently researching the cognitive science of decision-making and how this may inform the Federal Rules of Evidence. She is also pursuing work generally in contemporary issues related to law and the biosciences: the regulation of neurodevices, how neuroscience and genetics may inform legal notions of personhood or intent, and the relevance of neuroscience and genetics evidence at sentencing. Read more »

February 8, 2017
L. Rex Sears – The Law of Life
Rex Sears is a Registered Patent Attorney and Shareholder at Maschoff Brennan. He primarily represents clients in complex business and intellectual property disputes, including patent, trade secret, trademark, trade dress, and copyright, as well as securities, antitrust, real estate, false advertising, unfair business practice, tortious interference, and contract disputes. Many of his clients are companies in technology-intensive fields, including computer hardware and software, payment system security, and pharmaceuticals, or exercise equipment designers and manufacturers, among others. Read more »

February 1, 2017
Dan Burk – Alice in Chains: The State of Biotechnology Patenting
Dan L. Burk is Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine, where he is a founding member of the law faculty. An internationally prominent authority on issues related to high technology, he lectures, teaches, and writes in the areas of patent, copyright, electronic commerce, and biotechnology law. Read more »

January 25, 2017
Suzette Goucher – Challenges to Understanding the Standard of Care: Perspectives of a Risk Manager
Suzette Goucher, JD, RN, Director Risk Management, University of Utah Hospital & Clinics. Goucher was previously a Shareholder at Strong & Hanni in Salt Lake City, UT, where she had over a decade of experience representing physicians, clinics, hospitals and other health care providers in various medical malpractice litigation matters. She became the Director of Risk Management at the University of Utah in 2015. Read more »

January 18, 2017
Dave Gessel – The Future of Health Care Law in Utah and the United States
Dave Gessel serves as the Executive Vice President at the Utah Hospital Association (“UHA”). He has previously served as the Vice President of Government Relations and Legal Affairs for UHA. He has also worked as an attorney for a major Utah law firm as well as Legislative Director for a U.S. Congressman. Gessel has also been actively involved in a number of federal, state and local political campaigns. Read more »

January 11, 2017
Stephanie Bair – Neuroplasticity and Dynamic Rationality: Implications for Advertising Law and Autonomy
Stephanie Bair is an associate professor of law at BYU Law School. Bair’s research focuses on mind sciences, innovation, and the law. She is particularly interested in applying empirical work in psychology and neuroscience to current legal and policy challenges in intellectual property law, public health law, criminal law, and other areas. Read more »


2016 Law and Biomedicine Colloquium

Monday, January 11
Lessons from Alcatraz about “Rights” to Medical Care
L. Rex Sears (Maschoff Brennan Laycock Gilmore Israelsen & Wright)
Until it closed in 1963, inmates entering the federal prison on Alcatraz received a handbook of rules and regulations explaining, in part: “You are entitled to food, clothing, shelter and medical attention. Anything else that you get is a privilege.” Even at our harshest penal institutions, inmates had (and have) a recognized right to healthcare. What does that mean for the rest of us?

Suggested Readings:
Constitution Amendment VIII
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97 (1976)
Spicer v. Williamson, 132 S.E. 291 (N.C. 1926)
David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, Section III (“Of Justice”), Part I

Monday, January 25
Privacy v. Research in Big Data
Jane Bambauer (University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law)

Suggested Readings:
Netflix Privacy Lawsuit
Data Researchers Identify Anonymous People
NY Times Article
Tech Policy Institute
Facebook Research StoryNY Times Research and Permissions

Monday, February 1
Health Care Transition to Shared Risk Integration
Doug Hammer (Intermountain Healthcare)
The ACO Handbook – A Guide to Accountable Care Organizations

Monday, February 8
Set-Shifting to the New Biologics System
Erika Lietzan (University of Missouri School of Law)

Tuesday, February 16
What if your neighbors can’t afford your cure?
Ethical and economic challenges in personalized medicine
Jennifer Danielson (Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah)

Suggested Readings:

Monday, February 22
Robert Cook-Deegan (Duke University, Sanford School of Public Policy)

Monday, February 29
Can the Law Do Anyting to Reduce Medical Error?
Michael Saks (Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law)

Suggested Readings:
James, A New Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care, 9 J. Patient Safety 122 (2013).
Votruba & Saks, Medical Adverse Events and Malpractice Litigation in Arizona: By the Numbers, 45 Ariz St. L. J. 1537 (2013).
Hyman & Silver, Medical Malpractice Litigation and Tort Reform: It’s the Incentive, Stupid, 59 Vanderbilt L. Rev. 1085 (2006).
Paik et al., The Receding Tide of Medical Malpractice Litigation Part 1: National Trends, 10 J. Empirical Legal Studies 612 (2013)

Monday, March 7
Kenneth Chahine ( and University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law)


2015 Law and Biomedicine Colloquium


Monday, January 12
Alleged Error in the Andrology Lab — Legal and Ethical Considerations in Crisis Management
Liz Winter, Senior Deputy General Counsel/Chief Counsel HSC, University of Utah

Suggested Reading:,,20776046,00.html

Monday, January 26
Knowledge, Commons, Genomic Data, and the Advancement of Science
Jorge Contreras, Associate Professor of Law, University of Utah

Suggested Reading:
Science July 23 2010 Article »
Berkeley Technology Law Journal »
TIG Published»

Monday, February 2
Great Expectations: The Promise and Challenge of Personalized Medicine
Benjamin Jackson, VP Legal Affairs, Myriad Genetics

Suggested Reading:
Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics
Univ. Utah Res. Foundation et al. v. Ambry Genetics Corp.
In re Roslin Inst. (Edinburgh)
Myriad Appeal Brief in UURF v. Ambry
Ambry Appeal Breif in UURF v. Ambry

Monday, February 9
Drugs, the Law, and Practicing Justice
William J. Stilling, Shareholder at Parsons Behle & Latimer

Suggested Reading:
The Radical Conservatism of The Practice of Justice, by Robert W. Gordon
Marijuana Lawyers: Outlaws or Crusaders?, by Sam Kamin and Eli Wald
King Drug v. Cephalon–Pay for Delay (E.D.Penn. 2015 1 29)
Pay for Delay–The Human Perspective
War on Drugs Moves to Pharmacies from Jungles
Neurocognitive Enhancement–What Can We Do and What Should We Do?

Tuesday, February 17
Justice in Healthcare for High-Risk & Disabled Individuals: The Principle of Proportionate Benefit

Talha Syed, Assistant Professor Law, UC Berkeley School of Law

Suggested Reading:
Silvers & Francis, Civil Rights approach to Disability in Healthcare (2013)

Rosenbaum et. al, ACA & Disability Nondiscrimination (2011)
Dworkin, Hypothetical Insurance model (2001)

Monday, February 23
Genomic Malpractice
Gary Marchant, Regents’ Professor of Law, Faculty Director, Center for Law, Science & Innovation, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University

Suggested Reading:
Physician Liability
Lindor GIM NIH Public Access

Monday, March 2
Cybersecurity in the Health Care System

Derek Bambauer, Professor of Law, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law

Suggested Reading:
Sharona Hoffman & Andy Podgurski, In Sickness, Health, and Cyberspace: Protecting the Security of Electronic Private Health Information
HIPAA’s Security Rule
Anthem Reading -WSJ
Anthem Reading – NYT
Anthem Reading -KOS
Conundrum Article
Ghost in the Network Article

Monday, March 9
Intellectual and Regulatory Property
Anna Laakmann, Assistant Professor of Law, Lewis & Clark Law School

Suggested Reading:
Intellectual and Regulatory Propery