Robert C. Bird

Professor of Business Law | Eversource Energy Chair in Business Ethics
Research Fellow, School of Law | Member, Institute for Systems Genomics
Past President, Academy of Legal Studies in Business

Business Law

Education/Professional Certification

J.D., Boston University School of Law
M.B.A., Boston University Graduate School of Management

Areas of Expertise

Business ethics, compliance, corporate governance, business and human rights, employment law, law and strategy, performance of general counsel


Robert Bird conducts research in compliance, employment law, legal strategy, intellectual property, law and marketing, business and human rights, and related fields. Robert has authored over seventy academic publications, including articles in the Journal of Law and Economics, American Business Law Journal, Law and Society Review, Connecticut Law Review, Boston College Law Review, and the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.

Robert has received sixteen research-related awards, including the Academy of Legal Studies in Business (ALSB) best international paper award, distinguished proceedings award, and the Holmes-Cardozo best overall conference paper award. He has also received the best junior faculty paper award from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Business Law Association two years in a row, a distinguished paper award from the Pacific Southwest Academy of Legal Studies in Business, and a best paper award from the North East Academy of Legal Studies in Business. Robert was also awarded the highest honor for a new ALSB professor, the Junior Faculty of the Year Award, in 2003. Robert’s teaching-related awards include winning the outstanding article of the year award two years in a row from the Journal of Legal Studies Education, receiving the student-selected Alpha Kappa Psi Teacher of the Year award, and being a three-time invited finalist to the ALSB Master Teacher Competition.

Robert was editor in chief of the American Business Law Journal in 2012-13, publishing the 50th anniversary issue. He also served as administrative editor, articles editor, senior articles editor, and managing editor from 2006 through 2012. Robert is also a manuscript reviewer for several journals, including the Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, Journal of Legal Studies Education, Journal of Management and Governance, and Law and Society Review, among others. Robert is a past president of the Academy of Legal Studies in Business, the international academic organization for professors of law in schools of business.

Academic Publications

What is the Future of Legal Strategy?, American Business Law Journal, 61(2), 113-133, 2024 (with J.W. Evans)

Operational Risk and the New Caremark Liability for Boards of Directors, Boston University Law Review, 103(6), 1539-1590, 2023 (with J.M. Magid)

Contractual Deterrence and the Ethical Supply Chain, Boston College Law Review, 63(8), 2539-2620, 2022

Legally Astute Managers as a Source of Value in Organizations, Business Horizons, 65(5), 547-557, 2022

Toward a Systems Architecture in Corporate Governance, University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law, 24(1), 84-143, 2021 (with J.M. Magid)

Legal Strategy During Legal Uncertainty: The Case of Cannabis Regulation, Stanford Journal of Law, Business & Finance, 26(2), 362-412, 2021 (with M. Schuster)

Vaccinating Legal Scholarship from Distorted Science: Evidence from the Anti-GMO Movement, UMKC Law Review, 90(1), 1-35, 2021

Caremark Compliance for the Next Twenty-Five YearsAmerican Business Law Journal, 58(1), 63-119, 2021

Anti-GMO and Vaccine-Autism Public Policy Campaigns in the Court of Public Opinion, Hastings Law Journal, 72(1), 719-772, 2020

From Suspicion to Sustainability in Global Supply ChainsTexas A&M Law Review, 7(2), 383-418, 2020 (with Soundararajan, V.)

The Role of Precontractual Signals in Creating Sustainable Global Supply Chains, Journal of Business Ethics, 164(1), 81-94, 2020 (published online Nov. 21, 2018) (with V. Soundararajan)

VUCA, Virginia Law & Business Review, 12(3), 367-426, 2018

The Right to Request as a Model for Flexible Work in the European UnionAmerican Business Law Journal, 55(1), 53-115, 2018 (with L. Brown)

Organic Corporate GovernanceBoston College Law Review, 59(1), 21-69, 2018 (with S. Park)

Tax Avoidance as a Sustainability ProblemJournal of Business Ethics, 151(4), 1009-1025, 2018 (with K. Davis-Nozemack).

Turning Corporate Compliance into Competitive AdvantageUniversity of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law, 19(2), 285-339, 2017 (with S. Park)

The Domains of Corporate Counsel in an Era of ComplianceAmerican Business Law Journal, 53(2), 203-249, 2016 (with S. Park; Ralph C. Hoeber Award distinguished article in the American Business Law Journal)

Precarious Work: The Need for Flextime Employment Rights and Proposals for ReformBerkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, 37(1), 1-41, 2016 (lead article)

Why Don’t More Employers Adopt Flexible Working Time?West Virginia Law Review, 118(1), 327-367, 2015.

Human Rights, Technology and Food: Coordinating Access and Innovation for 2050 and BeyondAmerican Business Law Journal, 52(3), 435-500, 2015 (with D. Cahoy)

The Role of the Chief Legal Officer in Corporate GovernanceJournal of Corporate Finance, 34, 1-22, 2015 (with P. Borochin & J. Knopf; lead article)

The Impact of Local Knowledge on BankingJournal of Financial Services Research, 48(1), 1-20, 2015 (with J. Knopf; lead article)

Finding the Right Corporate Legal StrategyMIT Sloan Management Review, 56(1), 81-89, 2014 (with D. Orozco)

Corporate Voluntarism and Liability for Human Rights in a Post-Kiobel WorldKentucky Law Journal, 102(3), 601-651, 2014 (with D. Cahoy & L. Dhooge)

The Impact of Plain Packaging Regulation on Illicit and Non-Illicit Tobacco Products in the European UnionNorth Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation, 38(4), 1015-1056, 2013 (with G. Berger-Walliser; second place distinguished conference paper award)

Social Network Theory and the Diffusion of the Search and Seizure Exclusionary Rule Among State Courts Between Weeks and WolfBYU Journal of Public Law, 27(1), 96-144, 2013 (with D. Smythe & L. Benner)

The Protection of Well-Known Foreign Marks in the United States: Potential Global Responses to Domestic AmbivalenceNorth Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation, 38(1), 1-40, 2012 (with L. Brown).

The Role of Consumer Surveys in Trademark Infringement: Empirical Evidence from the Federal CourtsUniversity of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law, 14(4), 1013-1053, 2012 (with J. Steckel; selected for inclusion in the 2013 edition of the Intellectual Property Law Review)

Enforcement of Annulled Arbitration Awards: A Company Perspective and an Evaluation of a ‘new’ New York ConventionNorth Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation, 37(4), 1013-1053, 2012

Social Network Analysis and the Diffusion of the Strict Liability Rule for Manufacturing Defects, 1963-87, Law and Social Inquiry, 37(3), 565-594, 2012 (with D. Smythe)

Justice, Employment, and the Psychological ContractOregon Law Review, 90(2), 449-524, 2011 (with L. DiMatteo & J. Colquitt)

Law, Strategy, and Competitive AdvantageConnecticut Law Review, 44(1), 61-97, 2011

Interactive RegulationUniversity of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law, 13(4), 837-879, 2011 (with L. Brown.)

The Power of Uncertainty in Disability LawHamline Law Review, 34(3), 605-621, 2011

Domestic Violence and the Workplace: A New Connecticut Law Joins the DebateBusiness Law Review, 44, 147-166, 2011 (with C. Levesque)

Promoting Business Success Through Contract VisualizationJournal of Law, Business and Ethics, 17(1), 55-75, 2011 (with H. Haapio & G. Berger-Walliser)

Repackaging, Pharmaceuticals, and the European Union: Managing Gray Markets in an Uncertain Legal EnvironmentVirginia Journal of International Law, 50(3), 719-756, 2010 (with P. Chaudhry)

The Four-Day Work Week: Old Lessons, New QuestionsConnecticut Law Review, 42(4), 1059-1080, 2010

Reviving Necessity in Eminent DomainHarvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, 33(1), 239-281, 2010

Do Disability Laws Impair Firm Performance?American Business Law Journal, 47(1), 145-190, 2010 (with J. Knopf)

Necessity as a Check on State Eminent Domain PowerUniversity of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, 12(1), 99-141, 2009 (with L. Oswald)

Necessity and Excess Condemnation Under Eminent DomainReal Estate Law Journal, 38(3), 304-323, 2009 (with L. Oswald)

Moral Rights: Diagnosis and RehabilitationAmerican Business Law Journal, 46(3), 407-452, 2009.

Commercial Regulation of Deceptive Advertising: Why More Regulation is not Necessarily BetterBusiness Law Review, 42, 17-29, 2009.

Developing Nations and the Compulsory License: Maximizing Access to Essential Medicines while Minimizing Investment Side EffectsJournal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 37(2), 209-221, 2009.

Do Wrongful-Discharge Laws Impair Firm Performance?Journal of Law and Economics, 52(2), 197-222, 2009 (with J. Knopf)

Pathways of Legal StrategyStanford Journal of Law, Business and Finance, 14(1), 1-41. (best conference paper award – junior faculty; lead article)

The Structure of American Legal Institutions and the Diffusion of Wrongful Discharge Laws, 1978-99, Law and Society Review, 42(4), 833-863, 2008 (with D. Smythe)

Automatic Reassignment of Disabled Persons Under the ADA: Huber v. Wal-Mart Stores Widens the Circuit SplitBusiness Law Review, 41, 15-30, 2008 (lead author; with J. DePhillips)

An Employment Contract ‘Instinct with an Obligation’: Good Faith Costs and ContextsPace Law Review, 28(2), 409-428, 2008

The Impact of Compulsory Licensing on Foreign Direct Investment: A Collective Bargaining ApproachAmerican Business Law Journal, 45(2), 283-330, 2008 (with D. Cahoy; best international paper award; best conference paper award)

Counterfeit Drugs: The Global Consumer PerspectiveWake Forest University Intellectual Property Law Journal, 8(3), 387-406, 2008

A Shift too Far: The Failure to Recognize Shiftwork Maladaptation Syndrome as an Injury Under Workers’ Compensation LawMidwest Law Journal, 21(1), 1-15, 2007 (lead article)

The Emerging BRIC Economies: Lessons from Intellectual Property Negotiation and EnforcementNorthwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property, 5(3), 400-425, 2007 (with D. Cahoy; lead article)

The Impact of the Moseley Decision on Trademark Dilution LawJournal of Public Policy & Marketing, 26(1), 102-117, 2007

Protecting Moral Rights in the United States and the United Kingdom: Challenges and Opportunities under the U.K.’s New Performances RegulationsBoston University International Law Journal, 24(2), 213-282, 2006 (with L. Ponte)

Shiftwork and the LawBerkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, 27(2), 383-430, 2006 (with N. Mirtorabi; lead author)

Defending Intellectual Property Rights in the BRIC EconomiesAmerican Business Law Journal, 43(2), 317-363, 2006

Employment as a Relational ContractUniversity of Pennsylvania Journal of Labor and Employment Law, 8(1), 149-217, 2005 (outstanding article award).

Trademark Dilution and Circumstantial Evidence: Can Savin Save the Victoria’s Secret Case?Business Law Review, 38, 1-23, 2005

Rethinking Wrongful Discharge: A Continuum ApproachUniversity of Cincinnati Law Review, 73(2), 517-579, 2004

Good Faith and Wrongful Termination in Canada and the United States: A Comparative and Relational InquiryAmerican Business Law Journal, 41(2/3), 205-250, 2004

Procedural Challenges to Environmental Regulation of Space DebrisAmerican Business Law Journal, 40(3), 635-685, 2003

Tax Sham or Prudent Investment: Deconstructing the Government’s Pyrrhic Victory in Salina Partnership v. CommissionerUniversity of Virginia Tax Review, 22(2), 231-271, 2002. (with A. Tucker; reprinted in Monthly Digest of Tax Articles, vol. 54, at p.1 (2003))

Restraining Banking Law’s Notorious Regime: The D’Oench, Duhme Doctrine and the Fraud in the Factum DefenseNorth East Journal of Legal Studies, 9(1), 1-15, 2001 (best paper award)

New Legal Challenges to the Twenty-Four Hour Workplace: An Analysis of Shiftwork and the Americans with Disabilities ActBusiness Law Review, 34, 21-43, 2001

The Recovery of Bankruptcy Estate Assets From Non-Debtor EntitiesNorth East Journal of Legal Studies, 7(1), 113-129, 2000

Streamlining Consumer Survey Analysis: An Examination of the Concept of Universe in Consumer Surveys Offered in Intellectual Property LitigationTrademark Reporter, 88(3), 269-288, 1998 (reprinted in Business Law Review, vol. 31, 1-21 (1998))

An Examination of the Training and Reliability of the Narcotics Detection DogKentucky Law Journal, 85(2), 405-433, 1997

More Than A Congressional Joke: An Examination of the Legislative History of Sex Discrimination of the 1964 Civil Rights ActWilliam & Mary Journal of Women and the Law, 3(1), 137-161, 1997

Achieving Equality In the Workplace: An Examination of Leading Decisions Addressing Same-Sex and Bisexual Harassment Under Title VIIThe Holy Cross Journal of Law and Public Policy, 1(1), 127-144, 1996

Contact Information
Phone+1 (860) 486-6136
Office LocationBUSN 353
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