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2018 Law and Biomedicine Colloquium

January 17, 2018 @ 3:10 pm - 5:10 pm

The Center for Law and Biomedical Sciences presents the 4th Annual 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. A small reception with light refreshments will be held after each session. Visit the Center’s webpage to learn more about the Center for Law and Biomedical Sciences.

1 hour CLE. Free and open to the public. For questions about this event, contact Angela (801) 587-2433.
*Visitors will need to check in at the information desk on level 1 or level 2 to receive access to level 4.

Disrupting Relational Contracts

3:10-5:10 p.m., S.J. Quinney College of Law, Room 4609

This article applies under-utilized research in economic sociology to illuminate an important yet overlooked aspect of relational contracts. The motivation for the study arises from contracting practices in the biopharmaceutical industry, which exhibit a puzzling pattern: companies with greater social capital are more likely to use certain formal contract terms, which are typically associated with low social capital, in their alliance agreements. This inverts the relationship between formal and informal governance as it is conventionally understood. To address that puzzle, this article introduces a theory of relational contracting built on the intuition that collaborators must balance the benefits social networks provide regarding the transfer of reputational information with the increased costs, such as protecting their proprietary technology and maintaining access to diverse business partners as parties become more embedded within the network. As those latter costs rise, formal contracts are more frequently used to control certain information flows, which can disrupt the operation of reputational constraints, a possibility overlooked by prior research focused upon opportunism problems. The article then presents the results of qualitative and quantitative analyses, which provide evidence supporting that “disruptive” role for formal agreements. Placing that trade-off between the benefits and costs of greater connectivity at the heart of relational contract theory re-frames the relationship between formal and informal contracting as contingent, rather than fixed, and invites us to broaden our focus on economizing transaction costs to include the question of how the “transformation costs” of recombining institutions from deal to deal can be optimally managed.

Matthew Jennejohn, Associate Professor of Law, Brigham Young University
Matthew Jennejohn joined the BYU Law faculty in July 2013. He teaches and writes on topics relating to contracts, innovation, and corporate governance. Most recently, his primary research project has examined how new forms of collaborative contracting have emerged to structure innovative activity across firms, and how legal institutions should respond in turn. Before coming to BYU, Professor Jennejohn practiced for several years in the New York office of Shearman & Sterling LLP, where his practice focused on the multi-jurisdictional defense of cross-border M&A transactions and other competition-related issues. Professor Jennejohn is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Law (JD 2007), the London School of Economics (MSc 2004), and Brigham Young University (BA w/ Honors 2002), and he served as a law clerk for Chancellor Leo E. Strine, Jr. of the Delaware Court of Chancery, which is the specialized trial court that handles disputes in the leading jurisdiction for corporate law in the United States.

2018 Colloquium Schedule

January 10, 2018 Patient Privacy and Law Enforcement Access
Elizabeth D. Winter, Vice President and General Counsel, University of Utah
January 17, 2018 Disrupting Relational Contracts
Matthew Jennejohn, Associate Professor of Law, Brigham Young University
January 24, 2018 Genome Editing: From Babies to Mosquitoes and Beyond!
Henry T. Greely, Deane F. and Kate Edelman Johnson Professor of Law; Professor (by courtesy) of Genetics; Director, Center for Law and Biosciences; Director, Stanford Program in Neuroscience and Society, Stanford University; and President of the International Neuroethics Society.
January 31, 2018 –Ethics and Compliance as the New Regulatory Practice: Personal and Professional Challenges
Robert Harrison, Kimball Legal
February 7, 2018 –Should we disclose research results to participants? Ethical, legal, and regulatory challenges in achieving transparency
Jeffrey R. Botkin, MD, MPH; Professor of Pediatrics; Adjunct Professor of Human Genetics; Chief, Division of Medical Ethics and Humanities; Associate Vice President for Research, University of Utah
February 14, 2018
Amelia Rinehart, Associate Dean, Faculty Research and Development; Professor of Law, University of Utah
February 21, 2018Regulatory Challenges of Healthcare’s Al Tsunami
Nicolas P. Terry, Hall Render Professor of Law, Executive Director; William S. and Christine S. Hall Center for Law and Health, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
February 28, 2018 –Drug Approval in a Learning Health System
Nicholson Price, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Michigan


Paid parking is available at the Rice-Eccles Stadium using the pay-by-phone app. We encourage you to use public transportation to our events. Take TRAX University line to the Stadium stop and walk a half block north. For other public transit options use UTA’s Trip Planner. The law school is on the Red Route for the University’s free campus shuttles (College of Law stop).


January 17, 2018
3:10 pm - 5:10 pm
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College of Law
801-585-3440 | 801-585-3479


S. J. Quinney College of Law
383 South University St
Salt Lake City, UT 84112 United States
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