Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Controversies in Corporate Law

Ronald Colombo, Visiting Associate Professor of Law at BLS for the spring 2009 semesterm recently shared some thoughts on a new seminar at BLS "Controversies in Corporate Law" that he taught this past semester. The comments, The Christian Entrepreneur, were posted on the Conglomerate, a blog whose mission statement promises a "quirky mix of entries about business, law, Wisconsin, legal education, and whatever else” strikes the fancy of the Conglomerate bloggers. Prof. Colombo referred to the students in his class in response to an earlier post on Conglomerate entitled What is a Christian Perspective on Corporate Law? That earlier blog posed four questions:

  • Is a Christian perspective on corporate law one of many possible true perspectives, or is it, in the end, the only way to ground a theory of corporations and corporate regulation? Similarly, is there likely to be a single Christian perspective?
  • How does one construct a Christian theory of corporate law?
  • How is a Christian perspective on corporate law different from communitarian theories of corporate law?
  • What is the audience of a Christian perspective on corporate law?

Citing his experience teaching at BLS, Prof. Colombo noted that that when covering the issue of "Religion and the Corporation” in the seminar, his students reached a consensus that corporations should generally not adopt religious missions, and that those which did adopt such missions should certainly not enjoy anything analogous to the "free exercise rights" that individuals enjoy under the U.S. Constitution. He states “Corporations were seen as simply different -- too powerful, too large, and too privileged under the law to permit a religious mission on their part.” Prof. Colombo observes that, in the legal profession and society at large, there is some antipathy towards all things associated with religion these days even though religion may offer helpful insights in corporate law.

Prof. Colombo has been visiting BLS from Hofstra University, where he has been a faculty member since 2006.

1 comment:

Ron said...

I would like to clarify something contained in this post. In my comments posted on The Conglomerate, I observed that students in my seminar were quite skeptical of corporations taking on religious personae - and more skeptical still of affording corporations First Amendment rights, such as Free Exercise rights. My later observation, concerning ANTIPATHY toward arguments drawn from or based upon religious belief, was NOT based upon the students I had the privilege to teach at BLS, but was instead based upon what I have experienced in certain segments of academia, the legal profession, and society at large.

-Ronald J. Colombo