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  • Business Law

Business Law Faculty

  • Larry Catá Backer

    Professor Larry Backer researches globalization, especially as it relates to the emergence of ways of understanding constitutional and enterprise law. His most recent work touches on the regulation of multinational corporations, sovereign wealth funds, transnational constitutionalism, and the convergence of public and private law. He researches issues of governments as private actors in global markets, the development of law and social norm systems to regulate business and human rights.

    He teaches classes in constitutional, corporate, and transnational law and policy. Professor Backer is a member of the American Law Institute and the European Corporate Governance Institute. He served as chair of the Penn State University Faculty Senate for 2012-2013.

  • William Barker

    Professor Barker has dedicated his scholarly pursuits to the area of income taxation and more specifically to the study of international and comparative taxation. A three-time Fulbright recipient, he has conducted research as a visiting professor at the South African universities of Cape Town, Free State, Witwatersrand, and at the Riga Graduate School of Law (University of Latvia). His research reflects a strong normative approach to tax law that emphasizes the role of tax avoidance and important social values in the development of tax law in societies adopting free market, democratic systems in both the developed and emerging and transitional economies.

  • Samuel Bufford

    The Hon. Samuel L. Bufford is a former United States Bankruptcy Judge in the Central District of California, where he served for twenty-five years and presided over nearly 120,000 cases. Widely regarded as one of the foremost scholars of U.S. and comparative insolvency law, his teaching interests include bankruptcy, international and comparative insolvency law, commercial transactions, and international business transactions. Judge Bufford teaches courses in insolvency law and consistently lectures throughout the year at numerous seminars sponsored by foreign judicial departments and domestic institutes.

  • Lance Cole

    Professor Lance Cole's research and teaching interests reflect his practice experience in white collar criminal defense, securities regulation law, and government investigations and prosecutions. Professor Cole researches the attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine, government regulation of business entities, and legislative practice and procedure.

  • Beth Farmer

    Professor Beth Farmer’s research interests include U.S. and foreign antitrust and trade regulation law, issues of federalism, and comparative competition policy. She has served as a non-governmental advisor and rapporteur for the International Competition Network annual conferences in 2010 (Istanbul) and 2009 (Zurich) and is currently working with the Agency Effectiveness Working Group on a chapter for the Competition Agency Practices Manual that will address agency prioritization and strategic planning, project management techniques and project evaluation.

  • Julia Lee

    Professor Lee’s research interests are in the fields of financial regulation and commercial law, with a focus on strategic decision-making and the impact of legal rules and social norms on human behavior. Prior to joining Penn State Law, she was a senior regional attorney with the FDIC in Chicago, where she advised on the supervision of troubled banks and conducted prohibition and removal actions against bank officers and directors. Previous to that, she was an associate in the securities practice group of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, where she counseled broker-dealers and other financial institutions on compliance with federal securities laws and self-regulatory organization rules.

  • John Lopatka

    Professor John Lopatka is one of the nation's leading antitrust scholars, having published over forty articles in the areas of antitrust, economic analysis of law, and regulated industries. He co-authored the multi-volume treatise Federal Antitrust Law and The Microsoft Case: Antitrust, High Technology, and Consumer Welfare, which was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2007. 

  • Julie Metzger

    Julie Metzger focuses her writing on commercial law and international and comparative banking law. As former senior counsel to City National Bank and CIT Group, Professor Metzger has focused on commercial lending, compliance and auditing, and financial operations. Prior to entering private legal practice she was a staff attorney at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, where she planned for bank closings and helped investigate insider wrongdoing.

  • Ross Pifer

    Professor Ross Pifer’s research focuses on shale gas development and the interface between agricultural and residential development. He has been an attorney with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of General Counsel, and he has advised military personnel and commands in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Great Britain, and Germany while on active duty with the U.S. Army JAG Corps at the Netherlands Law Center.

  • James Puckett

    Professor James Puckett teaches and writes primarily in the area of federal income taxation. Professor Puckett’s research interests include tax administration and distributive justice. His current research projects explore issues at the intersection of taxation and federal and state administrative law, as well as professional responsibility, especially relating to uncertain tax positions. His recent scholarship has examined equity issues relating to how the family and certain personal expenses affect tax liability. He has taught federal income tax, international tax, and tax policy.

  • Marie T. Reilly

    Professor Marie T. Reilly writes in the areas of commercial law, bankruptcy and corporate law. She regularly teaches Bankruptcy and has taught Sales, Secured Transactions, Payment Systems, and Contracts. She was a member of the faculty of University of South Carolina School of Law and has practiced law in Chicago, Illinois and Washington, D.C. Professor Reilly has written extensively on fraudulent transfer law. Her recent articles focus on tax lien foreclosure law and the effect of marriage on credit relationships.

  • Stephen Ross

    Professor Ross teaches and writes in the disparate areas of Sports Law and Comparative Constitutional Law.  He clerked for Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, served as minority counsel for the Committee on the Judiciary of the U.S. Senate, and worked as an attorney for the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice. He has provided expert testimony and advice on sports antitrust issues to governmental entities in both the United States and Canada.

  • Samuel C. Thompson Jr.

    Professor Thompson directs Penn State’s Center for the Study of Mergers and Acquisitions and teaches on the corporate, securities, tax, and antitrust aspects of mergers and acquisitions as well as international tax, investment banking, taxation of business entities, and economic growth policy. Professor Thompson has been a tax policy advisor, on behalf of the U.S. Treasure Tax Assistance Office, to the South African Ministry of Finance in Pretoria, South Africa.

  • Panagiotis Takis Tridimas

    Professor Tridimas specializes in European Union and financial law. He is one of the most frequently quoted authors by the European Court of Justice and, on matters of EU law, by English courts. His research covers all aspects of EU law, including, constitutional law, judicial protection, and the substantive law of the EU. He has advised state institutions and corporations in relation to the Eurozone crisis and has given press and television interviews in Europe and the US. He served as senior legal advisor to the European Union and chaired the committee responsible for drafting the treaty of Accession to the EU of the Central and Eastern European States (2003).

  • Ventoruzzo

    Comparative business law scholar Marco Ventoruzzo holds a joint appointment with Bocconi University in Milan, Italy, where he has been director of the Ph.D. in Corporate and Business Law program and vice-director of the Paolo Baffi Research Center on Central Banking and Financial Regulation. He is a Research Associate of the European Corporate Governance Institute and has directed the Max Planck Institute for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law in Luxembourg.