Law and Business Tech: Cybersecurity, Blockchain and Electronic Transactions


UT College of Law
Sept. 21, 2018
8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. 
Room 237 

This conference, presented by Burr & Forman LLP and the Clayton Center For Entrepreneurial Law, brings together representatives from the business world, the cybersecurity field, and the legal profession to provide advice and guidance to attorneys and non-lawyer professionals regarding current law and technology issues impacting businesses today.

The speakers are a combination of academics, practicing lawyers, and other professionals, all of whom routinely deal with cybersecurity issues. See the full list of speakers and detailed presentation information.

Registration is required in order to attend. Members of the public may attend free of charge, or pay $10 to reserve lunch. The cost for those seeking CLE credit is $50. The conference has been approved for 6 hours of CLE credit, with attendees having the option to receive 1 hour of dual credit. To register, send your BPR number (if applicable), CLE program name, and contact information, including e-mail, to Micki Fox.

This event is co-sponsored by the Clayton Center for Entrepreneurial Law at the University of Tennessee College of Law and Burr & Forman LLP.

Session 1: Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Update

(CLE: 2 hours of general credit)

Today, every government agency, business and individual in our society is susceptible to the risks of cyberattack and data loss. As a result, lawyers and business professionals may no longer ignore this area of risk management and must stay informed as to cybersecurity developments and their implications for enterprise and information technology management, including technology infrastructure assessment and audits, data breach prevention, compliance with best practices, regulatory compliance, and data breach response notification and reporting. This panel will discuss how lawyers and business professionals can effectively navigate the complex cyber landscape with strategies designed to assess current risks, develop corrective action plans, implement best practices, and provide immediate and appropriate responses to cybersecurity breaches.

Session 2: The Coming Second Wave of Digital and other Electronic Signatures in Commerce

(CLE: 1 hour of general credit)

While the electronic signatures of consenting parties to business transactions have been legally valid since the passage of the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) and the contemporaneous and widespread adoption by the states of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) in the late 1990s and early 2000s, unlike their consumer counterparts, parties to large commercial transactions have been reluctant until recently to embrace e-signatures as a part of the closing process. Add to emerging acceptance of e-signatures in commercial transactions the current surge of blockchain and smart contract use cases that require digital signatures (a subcategory of electronic signatures) as an integral part of their underlying distributed ledger technology, it is now necessary for lawyers and other business professionals to understand the legal and technological issues relating to e-signatures and e-transactions. This panel presentation will explore such legal and technological issues.

Session 3: Pricing Algorithms and Collusion

(CLE: Concurrent Session A – 1 hour of general credit)

The development of self-learning and independent computers has long captured our imagination. The HAL 9000 computer, in the 1968 film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, for example, assured, “I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.” Machine learning raises many challenging legal and ethical questions as to the relationship between man and machine, humans’ control — or lack of it — over machines, and accountability for machine activities.

While these issues have long captivated our interest, few would envision the day when these developments (and the legal and ethical challenges raised by them) would become an antitrust issue. Sophisticated computers are central to the competitiveness of present and future markets. With the accelerating development of AI, they are set to change the competitive landscape and the nature of competitive restraints. As pricing mechanisms shift to computer pricing algorithms, so too will the types of collusion. We are shifting from the world where executives expressly collude in smoke-filled hotel rooms to a world where pricing algorithms continually monitor and adjust to each other’s prices and market data.

Session 3: Legal Ethics Issues Involving Technology in the Practice of Law

(CLE: Concurrent Session B – 1 hour of dual credit)

This session will address current legal ethics issues involving the use of technology in the practice of law. Topics will include new ABA and state ethics opinions concerning technology as it relates to the ethical duty of competence; client confidentiality issues related to technology, including cybersecurity and inadvertent disclosure of client information; and how the increasing use of artificial intelligence is shaping the practice of law and the ethical issues involved.

Session 4: Legal Issues Surrounding Blockchain and Crytpocurrency/Bitcoin

(CLE: 2 hours of general credit)

In spite of the hype in recent news articles suggesting blockchain technology may, for instance, end world poverty, it seems clear that the distributed ledger technology (DLT) that undergirds Bitcoin will continue to be repurposed toward commercial transactions and other uses that will allow companies to conduct old-fashioned business in new, innovative and disruptive ways. Lawyers and other business professionals must understand DLT’s accompanying risks and emerging regulatory landscape in order to navigate this new environment. Whether companies should implement a blockchain application, or whether they should issue cryptocurrency tokens to raise capital or purchase cryptocurrency tokens as an investment, are all complicated legal and business questions which this panel will address.



Event Schedule

TimeSessionSpeakerAvailable Credit
8:45 – 9 a.m.Welcome and IntroductionsGeorge Kuney
9 – 11 a.m.Cyber Security and Data Privacy UpdateIndia Vincent, Jennifer Bolling, Jason Asbury, Kris Torgerson with moderator Amanda Swenty2 General
11 – 11:15 a.mBreak
11:15 – 12:15 p.m.The Coming Second Wave of Digital and other Electronic Signatures in CommerceEd Snow, Katy Blackwell with moderator Joan Heminway1 General
12:15 – 12:30 p.m.Lunch Break
12:30 – 1:30 p.m.Concurrent Sessions
Session A: Pricing Algorithms and CollusionMaurice Stucke1 General
Session B: Legal Ethics Issues Involving Technology in the Practice of LawAlex Long and Paula Schaefer1 Dual
1:30 – 1:45 p.m.Break
1:45 – 3:45 p.m.Legal Issues Surrounding Blockchain and Crytpocurrency /BitcoinMatthew Lyon, Josh Rosenblatt, Joshua A. Ehrenfeld, Tom Potter, Ryan Gallagher with moderator Gary Pulsinelli2 General
3:45 – 4 p.m.ClosingGeorge Kuney

To register, send your BPR number and contact information, including e-mail, to Micki Fox. You must include the name of the CLE program for which you are registering.