Gerlinde Berger-Walliser


Using Proactive Legal Strategies for Corporate Environmental Sustainability

Berger-Walliser, G., Shrivastava, P., Sulkowski, A. Using Proactive Legal Strategies for Corporate Environmental Sustainability. 6 Michigan Journal of Environmental and Administrative Law, 1-36 (2016). Date Published: June 2017

Gerlinde Berger-Walliser

We argue that proactive law can help organizations be more sustainable. Toward that end, this Article first summarizes proactive law literature as it pertains to corporate sustainability. Next, it examines a series of cases on the pivotal nexus between proactive law and corporate sustainability. It then advances novel propositions that connect proactive law to central organizational design elements. The discussion traces further implications and suggests fruitful avenues for research and ways of using proactive law for firms to become more sustainable. Full article.


From Visualization to Legal Design: A Collaborative and Creative Process

American Business Law Journal, Vol. 54, No. 2, Summer 2017, p. 347-392

Gerlinde Berger-Walliser

Although the law remains predominately focused on the written word, a growing body of scholarship and legal practice reflect a dramatic increase in the use of visualization in virtually every legal context. Three starting assumptions underpin our ideas of implementing visualization ideas and techniques into what we call “Legal Design” that may aid contract simplification:

First, we examine the use of images in business documents and in statutes, rather than for advocacy. Moving away from adversarial settings offers several advantages. It permits us to illustrate the use of images in a broader range of practical legal applications. It also enables us to adopt the thinking, values, and methods of a non-traditional approach to lawyering and the law: “Preventive Law” or “Proactive Law” (combined here as “PPL”). Second, we offer guidelines for using images in conjunction with words rather than in isolation, since the law only rarely abandons its verbal expression. Realistically, visualization is almost always used in hybrid ways — combinations of words and images to enhance the effectiveness of communication. That seems unlikely to change, given the need for detail and refinement when the law is imposing duties on people. Finally, our method analyzes variables surrounding choices and consequences about the process of generating, transmitting, and using images to accompany legal language. Examining this dynamic can deepen our understanding of the information conveyed; it can also reveal the potential of visualization for creating spillover value for businesses or regulatory agencies that employ the images to advance legal and organizational effectiveness. Full article.


Contracting for Innovation and Innovating Contracts

Journal of Strategic Contracting and Negotiation (2016)

Thomas D. Barton, Gerlinde Berger-Walliser, Helena Haapio

This special issue of the Journal of Strategic Contracting and Negotiation (JSCAN) is devoted to “contracting for innovation and innovating contracts.” From the inception of planning for the issue, the co-editors hoped to attract contributions from a full range of professionals engaged in contract theory and practice: research academics, contract managers, corporate executives, and legal counsel, plus what JSCAN Editor-in-Chief Tyrone Pitsis told us are called “pracademics:” those who straddle research and commercial environments, making concrete contributions through collaborative projects, experiments, interviews, software development, or theory-building. JSCAN is a natural publication outlet for such partnerships, since so many of the 40,000 worldwide members of the International Association of Contract and Commercial Management (JSCAN’s parent organization) are thought-leaders in every aspect of commercial contracting. Full article.


Creating a Better World

Social Enterprise Conference
Pictured L to R: School of Business Dean John Elliott and Jeff Brown, EVP at Newman’s Own Foundation.

Mission-Focused Businesses Subject of Recent Conference

Business partners Spencer Curry and Kieran Foran go to work at their FRESH Farm Aquaponics business in South Glastonbury every day, believing they’re one step closer to solving world hunger.

When Justin Nash was a Captain in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, his soldiers looked to him for guidance. Now a civilian, he’s using those leadership traits at Til Duty is Done, an organization he created which seeks to provide housing, employment training and career opportunities for returning veterans. Til Duty is Done, Nash said, gives him a renewed sense of purpose.Continue Reading


Social Enterprise Conference

2015-04-21-SE2-Logo2

School of Business’ Social Enterprise Conference Attracting Leading Scholars, Entrepreneurs and Business Owners

“We don’t hire people to bake brownies, we bake brownies to hire people,” boasts the website of Greyston Bakery of Yonkers, N.Y.

Recognized as one of the best social enterprise companies in the world, Greyston Bakery’s mission is to provide individuals with employment, skills and resources to lift them out of poverty.Continue Reading


Assistant Professor Gerlinde Berger-Walliser and MBA Student Group visit EM Lyon for International Business Study

EM LYON MBA

In January 2015, a contingent of part-time MBA and MSBAPM students led by Business Law Professor Gerlinde Berger-Walliser spent two weeks studying international business at EMLYON, one of the top business schools in France. The group attended lectures taught by renowned EM Lyon faculty about the European business, social, and regulatory environment. As part of the inter-cultural program the UConn students worked on projects with EM Lyon’s International MBA students and traveled to Geneva, Switzerland to visit the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. In the evenings and on the free weekend, the group sampled the great food that Lyon is known for and toured different parts of Europe. Professor Berger-Walliser is looking forward to taking another group of MBA students to Lyon in January 2016.


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Faculty Research: A Firm-Driven Approach to Global Governance and Sustainability

American Business Law Journal (forthcoming)

Stephen Park and Gerlinde Berger-Walliser.

The multifaceted role of multinational corporations as quasi-regulators is of growing importance to international business. Corporations increasingly participate in two kinds of international rulemaking: (i) non-binding “soft” law standard setting; and (ii) self-regulation through private rules and standards. Soft law and private regulation often fill governance gaps left by incomplete and/or ineffective governmental regulation. One of the most prominent examples is sustainability rulemaking, in which corporations have become increasingly active due to their growing awareness of the directly-borne costs of environmental degradation and the potential strategic benefits of corporate social responsibility.Continue Reading


Business Law Faculty Takes Center Stage at Annual Conference

The Business Law Faculty in the School of Business participated in the 88th annual Academy of Legal Studies in Business (ALSB) conference, held in Boston, Massachusetts on August 6-10, 2013. The conference featured presentations, workshops, and panels, and hundreds of legal scholars from around the world gathered to discuss a variety of legal and pedagogical topics. Continue Reading