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Laurie Silvers & Mitchell Rubenstein Distinguished Professor of Law

University of Miami School of Law, Rm. G-382
+1 (305) 284-4285
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Current Interests

Current Writing

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI), especially as applied to health and other professions
  • Privacy Theory
  • RTBF, US-style
  • Robot regulation and standardization
  • Privacy and technology, including the Internet, big data, cryptography

Recent or Future Writing & Projects

  • Surveillance
  • Anonymity
  • Regulation of Drones

Founding & Editing

Fellow & Advisor


The University of Miami is not actually in Miami, but in nearby Coral Gables.   Here is the City Beautiful’s homepage and a map of our neighborhood and a close-up. Visit our webcams and see our weather.

At present, I plan to do all my teaching virtually in the 2020-21 academic year.  I regret losing some of the personal element that comes with in-person meetings, but my doctors have told me to be very careful as due to recent medical troubles, I’m now in one of the highest risk groups for COVID-19-related complications.  I am working on strategies to make the most of this new teaching environment.

Fall 2020

  • Administrative Law (4cr) — ONLINE – M & W 2-3:40pm

    Most laws that Congress passes require implementation. For a very wide variety of areas the instrument of that implementation is a federal agency. As a result, in the United States a multitude of governmental agencies exercise authority over the economy, and over the lives of every American. These agencies have the power to make legally binding rules (aka “regulations” or “red tape”), to issue valuable permits and licenses, to levy fines, and to adjudicate. Indeed, one agency, the Social Security Administration, decides more cases every year than all the state and federal courts combined. This is a course about laws and rules that bind federal agencies, and thus about the extent to which federal agencies can make rules and decisions that bind us. It surveys the means by which people (and their lawyers) can challenge or influence administrative exercises of authority in the face of often broad or ambiguous delegations of authority from Congress and in particular how and when agency decisions are subject to judicial review. Always lurking is the question of how we reconcile our dependence on an unelected, expert bureaucracy with our commitments to a government that is democratically accountable and legitimate. Administrative Law is vitally important for anyone contemplating a practice that might involve federal regulations in any way. It is particularly valuable for students who are considering a practice involving highly regulated areas such as: Communications, Disability, Energy, Environment, Family and Child Services, Financial Markets, Immigration, Labor, Housing, or Land Use, but it is also relevant to almost every other area of practice.

    For the Fall 2020 edition of this class, we will also consider the ways in which administrative law has empowered and also very frequently blocked the ability of the Trump administration to enact its policy choices.

    Grading will be based on participation, and on an 8-hour take-home final exam.

Spring 2021

  • AI & Robot Law (3 credits)  ONLINE – Hrs TBA

    Course Description

    ‘Artificial Intelligence’ (AI) includes a variety of technologies, notably ‘machine learning’ systems such as IBM’s Watson, which won a ‘Jeopardy’ match, Google’s Ultra Go, which trounced a Go Master, and a plethora of systems designed to predict tumors, shopping habits, and even criminality. ‘Robots’ increasingly feature varying degrees of autonomy, including systems like self-driving cars, military drones, and robo-surgeons.  Behind many robots lies an embodied or even remotely connected AI, making the two new technologies intertwined.

    Both technologies present a number of ethical, social, and legal challenges that are inciting a wide variety of responses. Representative examples of problems include: Should we permit robots to carry lethal weapons? Who is responsible for invidious discrimination by an AI?  What should the liability (and ethical) rules be for accidents involving autonomous vehicles? Is existing malpractice law ready for AI doctors? Should AIs and/or Robots have ‘rights’, whether human rights, animal rights, or some sui generis set of rights?  The course will thus treat AI/Robot Law as distinct subjects, or a distinct subject, of their own, and also attempt to put them into the context of the law’s ongoing encounter with new technology.

    Most law courses seek to give you mastery of a relatively well-defined body of law.  This course is different: it will seek to give you a taste of what it is like to work in areas with little or no clearly defined law (as such–the task then is to borrow or invent it), or new law, or where the law is in the process of being created and assembled – and where you could have a hand in making it, or interpreting it. Much like acrobatics without a net, this can be thrilling but it can also be scary. Crashes are always a possibility.

    Grading will be based on class participation which depending on class size may involve a presentation or two, a short (five page) reaction paper during the term, and a circa 10-page final writing.

  • Privacy and Data Protection (3 credits) ONLINE – Hrs TBA

    Course Description.
    US Privacy law is in a period of ferment and change. States have led the way, first in tort law, and now with 49 states now having data breach laws, to the Illinois’s regulation of biometrics, to the new controversial California privacy laws. Huge gaps remain, however, especially when compared to the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR has extraterritorial provisions, so it reaches the conduct of US firms that do business in Europe. Privacy law also arises in the context of the Fourth Amendment, federal statutory and regulatory regimes such as FTC enforcement, medical privacy, and the Patriot Act. Together these developments not only make up a large new body of law, they create a large demand for lawyers in multiple capacities: advising, litigating, lobbying, and structuring compliance. We will survey all these developments, primarily based around William McGeveran’s casebook, Privacy and Data Protection Law.  Subject to class size, it will be based on class participation and a final exam.

Contact me if you wish me to supervise a paper. I will gladly see you (for now, virtually) by appointment.

Past Teaching
  • Law & Games Seminar (MMPORGs, not “gaming”)
  • Intellectual Property in the Digital Era Seminar
  • Internet Governance Seminar

I have some  unofficial advice about course selection in law school and some idiosyncratic writing tips. I’ve also got a half-written FAQ for people thinking about law school.



AI & Robots
Privacy & Cryptography E-Commerce Other
Internet Governance & Governance
Administrative Law

AI & Robots

Privacy & Cryptography

Internet Governance & Governance Generally


Administrative Law

Blogging, Online Games, and Other Fun Stuff


Non-standard disclaimers may apply. Beware of these fallacies…and and these too! This personal Web page is not an official University of Miami Web page. See disclaimer.

Last modified: Oct 21, 2020

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