Professor Sherri L. Burr

Contact Information

Ph.: 505-277-5650
Fax: 505-277-1597
Office: 3241

Sherri Burr

Regents Professor
A.B., Mount Holyoke College
J.D., Yale University
M.P.A., Princeton University
Member of the California Bar

Web Site

Profile

Sherri Burr joined the UNM law faculty in 1988, after having received her A.B. (Politics) from Mount Holyoke College, her M.P.A (International Relations) from Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and her J.D. from Yale Law School. In 1994 she received tenure and promotion to full professor. During the 2008-2009 academic year, she served as Acting Director of the Africana Studies Program in Arts and Sciences. She became the Regents Professor of Law in 2012.

Professor Burr teaches intellectual property law, art law, entertainment law, wills and trust, and international law. She regularly brings guest speakers, such as authors Rudolfo Anaya, and Max Evans to enhance the learning in her classes. Further, students who study Art Law, Entertainment Law, and Intellectual Property with Burr have an opportunity to participate in the making of ARTS TALK, a weekly television show that Burr produces and hosts.

ARTS TALK runs on Mondays from 7:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Channel 27 in Albuquerque. Burr created the show while visiting at the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law. Her first guest was Wally "Famous" Amos, author of several inspirational self-help books, including The Cookie Never Crumbles. Over the years, Burr and her students have interviewed actor Wes Studi (Avatar and Dancing With Wolves), cellist Yo-Yo Ma, entertainment law attorney Johnnie Cochran, screenwriter Duncan North (The Tao of Steve), painter-sculptor Betty Sabo, symphony conductors Guillermo Figueroa and Samuel Wong, and authors Paul Pearsall (The Heart's Code), Lois Ann Yamanaka (Blu's Hanging), Nita Tucker (How Not to Stay Single and How Not to Screw it Up), and Don Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements).

An internationally renowned lecturer, Burr has spoken at universities in Barbados, Canada, Chile, France, Greece, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and South Africa. In the United States, she has lectured at Dartmouth, Yale, New York University, the University of Iowa, and numerous other educational institutions. Her lectures to both university communities and the general public are well received for her wit as well as the wisdom she imparts.

Burr has published twenty books and numerous scholarly articles in the area of intellectual property, art law, and international law that have been published in journals in the United States, Spain, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Burr's books on art law and entertainment law are considered primary sources in the field. Her 2004 books include: Art Law: Cases and Materials (William S. Hein & Co.); Entertainment Law: Cases and Materials in Film, Television, and Music (Thomson West); Entertainment Law Teacher's Manual (Thomson West) and Entertainment Law in a Nutshell (Thomson West). In 2006, she published two books in the field of international law: Quick Review of International Law (Thomson West), which won the 2007 New Mexico Press Women Award for best nonfiction instructional book, and Sum and Substance Audio Book on International Law (Thomson West). In 2007, she published Entertainment Law in a Nutshell 2nd Edition (Thomson West) and Wills and Trusts in a Nutshell 3rd Edition (with Mennell) (Thomson West). In 2008, she published Sum & Substance Audio Book on Entertainment Law (Thomson West), Supplement to Entertainment Law: Cases & Materials in Film, Television, and Music (Thomson West), and Quick Review of International Law 2nd Edition (Thomson West). In 2010, she published Art Law: Cases and Materials (Revised Ed. Aspen Press, with DuBoff and Murray), and the Teachers Manual to accompany the casebook. Hot off the presses in 2011 is Entertainment Law: Cases and Materials in Established and Emerging Media (Thomas West) and the accompanying Teachers Manual and in 2012 came Entertainment Law in a Nutshell 3rd Edition (Thomson West) and Wills and Trusts in a Nutshell 4th Edition (with Mennell) (Thomson West). Toward the end of 2013, West Academic published Burr’s co-authored book Modern Intellectual Property and Unfair Competition Law, 6th Edition (with Kitch & Perlman), and the Teacher's Manual to Accompany Modern Intellectual Property and Unfair Competition Law, 6th Edition(with Kitch & Perlman).

In addition to her books, Burr's article on Protecting Business Secrets in National and International Commerce published in the peer-reviewed Science Communications was considered ground-breaking for its empirical data analysis of the importance of trade secrets to the business community. Her chapter in the book Screening Justice won the 2007 New Mexico Press Women Award for best nonfiction book chapter. Burr has also written items for the general public. She has published travel articles on Alaska and New Mexico accompanied by her own photographs. From December 2000 until June 2003, she wrote a weekly column for the Albuquerque Tribune that includes analysis of politics, race, sports and entertainment. Burr's manuscript for Living with Nephew placed second in the 2006 Southwest Writers nonfiction book competition. Burr writes a column called "The Writing Life” for the Southwest Sage, and currently writes four articles a year for that publication.

Burr has served as president of the New Mexico Black Lawyers Association and chair of the Art Law and International Law Sections of the Association of American Law Schools. She has also served on the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law and on the board of the Arts Alliance. She currently serves as Vice President of the New Mexico Press Women.

Courses

Art Law Drafting

Art Law Drafting

Art Law explores the practical legal problems of visual artists and the commercial art world. We address the question of "What is art?" and examine artists' efforts to protect their art through copyright, moral, and first amendment rights as well as their legal relations with dealers in art (from museums and galleries, to auction houses and individuals).

The course will include at least seven drafting assignments, and field trips to New Mexico galleries and museums.

The text for this course is DuBoff, Burr, and Murray's "Art Law: Cases and Materials" (Rev. Ed. Aspen 2010).

Art Law (Santa Fe)

Art Law (Santa Fe)

(Oct. 19-20, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Educational Center)

This 1-credit class will be offered Friday and Saturday, October 19-20, from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Students will learn to protect artists’ legal rights associated with copyrights, trademarks, moral rights, First Amendment rights, and artists’ business relations (selling to galleries, museums, and private collectors). One hour will be devoted to Fraud in the Art Market: Ethical Issues for sellers, buyers, and the lawyers who represent them. This class will include two tours, one to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and the other to a Santa Fe art gallery, and an accompanying discussion of museum and gallery legal issues. This class is graded credit/no credit.

Cultural Property & the Law

Cultural Property & The Law

This class offers a chance to study legal issues associated with cultural property, or group ownership in items of community significance. Over the course of the semester, we will survey the globe, addressing issues that uniquely affect certain groups or countries seeking the return of items of cultural importance. We will begin our discussion of Native American issues, and will also cover Africa, Asia, and European conflicts over cultural property.

Documentary Films & the Law

Documentary Films and the Law

Every year thousands of documentary films are shot that cannot be sold. They sit on a shelf gathering dust because the filmmakers failed to legally clear the use of other people’s music, images, photographs, and copyrighted material. This class will teach law students how to provide legal assistance to filmmakers. You will learn how to copyright films, how to write release agreements, talent contracts, and other documents. The class will include a workshop whereby students will assist actual New Mexico filmmakers seeking to finish their work. The 2-credit course is offered credit/no credit. The 3-credit course is offered to students who wish to do all the activities for the 2-credit course and satisfy the writing requirement by producing at least a 20-page paper on a related topic. Students taking the 3-credit course will receive a letter grade.

Entertainment Law

Entertainment Law

This course is designed to introduce law students to legal, business, and creative aspects of the entertainment industry. The course will cover copyright, contracts, compensation, credit, and First Amendment issues related to the film, television, music, and videogame segments of the entertainment industry. Students can earn extra credit points by participating, beyond the minimum requirement, in production work for the Channel 27 television show Arts Talk, which will tape at least four episodes during the semester.

Entertainment Law: Film & Television

Entertainment Law: Film & Television

Are you fascinated by Hollywood? Do you want to know why Tom Cruise gets $20,000,000 per movie and why Leonardo DiCaprio was only paid about $1,000,000 for his work on "Titanic," which grossed over a billion dollars worldwide? Have you ever wondered what those credits mean when they crawl across the movie or television screen? If any of these or similar questions have crossed your mind or you want to work in the entertainment industry, then Entertainment Law is the course for you. During the course of the semester, we will explore the legal relationships governing film and television.

We discuss the legal and business relationships between entertainers and the commercial industry. The casebook includes both cases and news articles from the national and trade presses, accompanied by interviews with entertainment personnel.

The course will include guest speakers from the industry. Clips will be shown from Professor Burr's television show "ARTS TALK!" and she will talk about how the show was created, from initial treatment to the shows that aired in Honolulu and Albuquerque.

The text for this course is Burr & Henslee's "Entertainment Law: Cases and Materials in Film, Television, and Music (Thomson West 2004).

Entertainment Law: Film & Theatre

Entertainment Law: Film & Theatre

Are you fascinated by Hollywood? Do you want to know why Tom Cruise gets $20,000,000 per movie and why Leonardo DiCaprio was only paid about $1,000,000 for his work on "Titantic," which grossed over a billion dollars worldwide? Have you ever wondered what those credits mean when they crawl across the movie or television screen? Did it strike you as unusual that Harper Collins refused to publish Joan Collins' book after she insisted on writing it herself?

If any of these or similar questions have crossed your mind or you want to work in the entertainment industry, then Entertainment Law is the course for you. During the course of the semester, we will explore the legal relationships governing these major components of the entertainment industry: (1) film and television; (2) music; (3) theater and dance; and (4) publishing.

We discuss the legal and business relationships between entertainers and the commercial industry. The case book includes both cases and news articles from the national and trade presses.

The course will include guest speakers from the industry. Clips will be shown from Professor Burr's television show "ARTS TALK!" and she will talk about how the show was created, from initial treatment to the shows that aired in Honolulu and Albuquerque.

The text for this course is Burr & Henslee's "Entertainment Law: Cases and Materials in Film, Television, and Music (Thomson West 2004). Also recommended is Burr's "Entertainment Law in a Nutshell" (Thomson West 2004).

Intellectual Property Law

Intellectual Property Law

This course surveys the components of Intellectual Property Law, including the Law of Ideas, Copyrights, the Right of Publicity, Trademark Law, Unfair Competition Law, Trade Secrets, Patent Law. The marketing of Intellectual Property related goods represents one of the most dynamic sectors of the U.S. and world economy. U.S. exports of all intellectual property products are second only to those of aircraft.

International Law

International Law

International Law surveys the laws governing the relationships between nation states, between states and international organizations and between states and their citizens who must be assured basic human rights. We begin by discussing the historical underpinnings of international law that grew out of wars among European states and those that arose during the conquest of the new world. The course discusses how states are formed, law is made, remedies for breach, international dispute settlement, and war. Additionally, we will play war games in a special three-hour class to teach and augment treaty-making skills in an intense setting. Students will learn to negotiate treaties and resolve disputes in a public international context. Course materials will include a casebook, Sun Tzu's "The Art of War," and handouts.

Wills Drafting

Wills Drafting

See Professor Burr for course description.

Wills and Trusts

Wills and Trusts

Wills and Trusts explores the law of property transmission upon death. We first examine the law of intestacy, which provides for distribution of property when a person fails to leave a valid will. We then examine the requirements for executing a valid will, will components, changes of circumstances after execution, revocation, interpretation, and will contests. Finally, we study the creation and use of trusts and powers of appointment in estate planning.

This course will be graded on a 100-point scale. Students can earn 25 points by satisfactorily completing written wills and trusts assignments during the course of the semester. Students can earn an additional 75 points from the 75-question, closed book, multiple-choice final exam.

Publications

Books

A Short & Happy Guide to Financial Well-being, (West Academic 2014).

Modern Intellectual Property and Unfair Competition Law, 6th Edition (with Kitch & Perlman, West Academic 2014)

Teacher's Manual to Accompany Modern Intellectual Property and Unfair Competition Law, 6th Edition (with Kitch & Perlman, West Academic 2014)

Entertainment Law in a Nutshell 3rd Edition (2012)

Wills and Trusts in a Nutshell 4th Edition (with Mennell) (2012)

Entertainment Law: Cases and Materials in Existing and Emerging Media Teacher’s Manual(West 2011)

Entertainment Law: Cases and Materials in Existing and Emerging Media (West 2011)

Art Law: Cases & Materials (Revised Edition) (with DuBoff and Murray) (Aspen 2010)

Sum & Substance Audio Book on Entertainment Law (Thomson West 2008)

Supplement to Entertainment Law: Cases & Materials in Film, Television, and Music (Thomson West 2008)

Quick Review of International Law, 2nd Edition (Thomson West 2008).

Entertainment Law in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition (Thomson West 2007)

Wills and Trusts in a Nutshell, third edition (with Robert Mennell) (ThomsonWest, 2007)

Quick Review of International Law (Thomson West 2006)

Sum and Substance Audio Book on International Law (Thomson West 2006)

Art Law: Cases & Materials (with Leonard Duboff and Michael Murray) (William S. Hein & Co., 2004)

Entertainment Law: Cases & Materials (with William Henslee) (Thomson-West 2004)

Entertainment Law in a Nutshell (Thomson-West Group 2004)

Chapters in Books

Lunching with Max Evans, in The Storyteller's Anthology (Herrington House Publishing, 2013)

Athletes as Television Celebrities: Why we watch; How they benefit; Must they be responsible?, in Reversing Field (West Va. University Press, 2010).

Scarlet's Code, in Susan's Actions in Critical Race Feminism: A Reader (Adrian Wing ed., 1997).

Negotiating the Book Contract, in The Writer's Handbook (1997) (first published in THE WRITER Mag. (July 1996).

Screening Group Rape in "The Accused," in Screening Justice (Rennard Strictland, ed.).

Articles

The U.S. Supreme Court and the Alvarez Machain Cases: Recasting International Law, 13 U.S.-Mex. L. J. 105 (2005).

From Noriega to Pinochet: Is there an International Moral and Legal Right to Kidnap Individuals Accused of Gross Human Rights Violations? , 29 Denver J. of International Law & Policy 101 (Spring 2001).

Television & Societal Effects: An Analysis of Media Images of African-Americans in Historical Context, 4 Iowa Journal of Gender, Race & Justice 161 (Spring 2001).

O.J. as a Tale of 2 Operas, 68 University of Missouri-Kansas City Law Review 705 (Summer 2000).

The Piracy Gap: Protecting Intellectual Property in an Era of Artistic Creativity and Technological Change, 33 Willamette Law Review 244 (Winter 1997).

Protecting Business Secrets in International Commerce, 17 Sci. Comm. 274 (1996), 1997 Intell. Prop. REV. 663.

Artistic Parody: A Theoretical Construct, 14 Cardozo Arts & Ent. L.J. 65 (1996).

Indian Culture and Spirituality: Some Reflections on the Shaping and Sharing of Cultural Values, 7 St. Thomas L. Rev. 43 ( Summer 1995).

Introducing Art Law, COPYRIGHT WORLD, Feb. 1994, at 22, 10 Nihon U. Comp. L. 177 (1993).

A Critical Assessment of Reid's Work for Hire Framework and its Potential Impact on the Market Place for Scholarly Works, 24 J. Marshall L. Rev. 119 (1990).

Reflections on the Scholarly Agenda for the Beginning Scholar, 10 St. Louis Public Law Review 155 (1991).

Essays

Your Honor, Protege (Jan. 1996).

Book Reviews

Book Review, 89 AM. J. INT'L L. 671 (1995) (reviewing Robert J. Beck, The Grenada Invasion: Politics, Law and Foreign Policy Decision Making).

Book Review, ALBUQUERQUE J., Feb. 10, 1996 (reviewing Lawrence Otis Graham, Member of the Class: Reflections on Life in a Racially Polarized World).

Book Review, ALBUQUERQUE J., Oct. 12, 1997 (reviewing Gregg Levoy, Callings).

Published Remarks

500 Years After Columbus: Promoting and Protecting Multiculturalism in the Arts, 11 Cardozo Arts & Ent. L. J. 35 (1992).

North American Trade: Barriers in Free Trade Arising from Differences in National Law, 86 Proc. AM. SOC'Y. Int'l L. 141 (1992).

What's Going on in Intellectual Property Law?, 84 Proc. AM. SOC'Y. Int'l L. 257 (1990).

Columns

The Writing Life in Southwest Sage (2011 to present) (quarterly column).

Ask Professor Burr on ©, in Southwest Sage (1994-1997) (monthly column).

Press Law, in Editor and Writer (1997) (bi-monthly column).

Weekly Column in Albuquerque Trib., Dec. 2000-June 2003.

Prize-Winning Books

Sherri Burr has won three writing prizes related to books. In 2007, she won first place in the New Mexico Press Women Award for best nonfiction instructional book for her Quick Review of International Law (Thomson West 2006) and best nonfiction book chapter for her work Screening Justice in The Accused in the book Screening Justice (William S. Hein & Co: Strickland & Banks, eds. 2006).

Additionally, Professor Burr's book Living with Nephew placed second in the 2006 Southwest Writers nonfiction book contest. Living with Nephew tells the story of when Burr's nephew came to live with her during his 7th grade year and while she was on sabbatical writing two law books. She had promised Nephew when he was five that he could spend a year living in New Mexico. She chose the age of 12 because she thought he would be old enough to no longer need a babysitter and young enough to not have discovered girls. She was only half right, and the year turned into an entertaining adventure.

The book has been endorsed by inspirational writer Wally "Famous" Amos, and southwestern writers Max Evans and Tony Hillerman.

Amos, the author of The Cookie Never Crumbles, wrote, “Sherri Burr is a woman who knows how to shape the dough of life into inspirational morsels. Living with Nephew is a moving and humorous book about standing up to life’s challenges.”

Max Evans' endorsement says, “Oh, what a charmer Sherri Burr’s book is. Can you imagine what happens when the twelve-year old nephew comes to spend a year with his single Auntie? They both find terror and wisdom--so will the reader. Buy it now. Read it now. Laugh and learn forever.”

Tony Hillerman wrote: "In Living with Nephew, Sherri Burr leaves out the parts the reader skips."

Sherri Burr is the author or co-author of six law books. When published, Living with Nephew will be her first offering for the general public.

Prize-Winning Speech

Professor Sherri Burr with StampProfessor Sherri Burr has won first place for her speech "The Immortal Hattie McDaniel," which was given last February on the occasion of the U.S. Post Office unveiling of the 2006 Black Heritage postage stamp honoring McDaniel, the first African-American to win an Academy Award acting award. McDaniel won for portraying Mammy in the 1939 film "Gone with the Wind." In her speech, Burr focused on McDaniel's career in a time of limited screen roles for African-Americans and her humanitarian endeavors.

As a first place New Mexico winner, Burr's speech will be forwarded to the National Federation of Press Women contest to compete with winners from the other 49 states.

Professor Burr says, "I'm thrilled to receive this honor. I dedicate it to Hattie McDaniel, who continues to inspire me."

The Post Office gave Professor Burr a framed replicate of the postage stamp, which hangs in her office.