Emerson wins awards, international acclaim for research

Gainesville, Fla. – Robert W. Emerson, Huber Hurst Professor of Law and Legal Studies and chair of Warrington’s management department, has won two research awards—and garnered two international speaking invitations from that research—in recent months.

Emerson was given the 2008 Best Paper Award by the Mid-Atlantic Academy of Legal Studies in Business (MAALSB) at their annual meeting in Philadelphia. MAALSB is a professional association of legal studies professors from Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. His paper, “Franchise Encroachment,” analyzes one of the more controversial activities in franchising, when the franchisor sells additional franchises, or opens its own outlets, in close proximity to existing franchises. This paper, and Emerson’s other research on franchising, led to an invitation to give the keynote address, and head up a question-and-answer session (covered by print and broadcast media) at the Sicilian Chamber of Commerce during its first-ever conference on franchising. The address, as well as lectures to doctoral students at the University of Catania, compared the franchising phenomenon—and the legal system’s attempts to deal with it—in the United States and Europe.

At the 2008 National/International Conference of Legal Studies Professors, meeting in Anaheim, Emerson received the Holmes-Cardozo Distinguished Paper Award from the Academy of Legal Studies in Business. His paper, “Will the Plaintiff Bring This Court to Order? The French Huissier [Judicial Officer] as a Model for U.S. Civil Procedure Reform,” discusses the different processes for gathering evidence employed in France. Emerson’s assertion is that these methods may, with modification, be effectively applied to an American legal system, as its historic roots are not as different from continental inquisitions as they appear on the surface. This work, too, has led to Emerson’s invitation to lecture and research abroad, comparing the common law and Civil (Code) Law systems. As a result, Emerson was inducted as an inaugural member—and the sole North American representative—in a scholarly board (Le Conseil Scientifique) of eleven professors from five continents and ten countries for the Union Internationale des Huissiers de Justice, based in Paris. Emerson’s academic counsel is expected to help provide greater understanding of and cooperation between varying systems for gathering evidence, bringing cases, and enforcing judgments.