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Professor Kevin V. Tu

Kevin Tu

Associate Professor of Law
B.A. 2003, University of Washington
J.D. 2006, University of Washington
School of Law
Member of the Washington State Bar

 Curriculum Vitae SSRN

Contact Information

 Ph.: 505-277-2113
 Office: 3238


Professor Kevin Tu teaches and writes in the areas of commercial law, business law, banking and financial institution regulation, and technology. Professor Tu currently focuses his research on the regulation of new and emerging payment systems. His recent scholarship has appeared in the George Washington Law Review (forthcoming), Washington Law Review, Alabama Law Review and the Kansas Law Review, among other journals.

Professor Tu brings extensive practical experience as a transactional attorney to the classroom. From 2006 until 2011, he practiced law at the Seattle office of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, an international law firm, where he represented business and financial institutional clients in a wide range of business transactions and regulatory compliance matters. Professor Tu’s practice focused on: (1) representing issuers of consumer payment devices such as private label credit cards and stored value, (2) advising clients on the design of online and mobile commerce platforms and payment processing functions, (3) structuring, negotiating and documenting complex single-bank and multi-bank secured and unsecured credit transactions; (4) representing companies in domestic and international merger and acquisition transactions with particular emphasis in the telecommunications and wireless industry; and (5) advising clients on physical and electronic distribution strategies, supply chain and manufacturing arrangements, and the development and implementation of vendor finance programs.

Prior to joining UNM School of Law in 2012, Professor Tu taught Contracts at the University of Washington School of Law and taught Commercial Law, Secured Land Transactions, Financial Institutions Law, and Private Equity & Venture Capital at the University of Oregon School of Law.

Outside the classroom, Professor Tu is an avid photographer and cook. His sports photography has been featured on and the websites, blogs and press releases of several professional triathletes, including Ironman and 70.3 World Champions, and he aspires to one day compete on the television show MasterChef.

Business and Transactional Drafting

This course introduces the basic contract drafting principles that govern agreements and other instruments used in business transactions. The course focuses on developing good contract drafting skills that are transferable to drafting a contract regardless of subject matter. Accordingly, this course focuses not only on business acquisition agreements but also on a broad range of other instruments including employment contracts, commercial leases, license agreements, and loan agreements. The course covers how to structure an agreement, draft clearly, and deal with both business and legal issues. Weekly assignments will require each student to draft a provision, agreement or other instrument according to the instructions of a hypothetical client. Students will also learn how to review, comment on and revise contract and contract provisions.

Business Associations I

This course will explore the various types of business relationships and organizations. Brief coverage is given to factors bearing on choice of organization, including partnership attributes, process of corporate formation, corporate privileges and powers, corporate capital structure, and limited liability. This part of the course will include an introduction to agency law, and the management and transfer of ownership interests in partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations.

Contracts I

In an industrial society characterized by a "free enterprise" system and notions of individual freedom, "contract" is one of the primary means by which private individuals order their affairs. The contracts course inquires into why promises are enforced as contracts, which promises are enforced, and how they are enforced. The course places emphasis on close and critical analyses of court decisions.

Corporate Governance

This seminar will explore the legal framework under which corporations are governed as well as consider contemporary issues in corporate governance. We will examine the duties and responsibilities of directors and officers of business corporations. Whose interests do directors and officers represent in governing and managing the affairs of business enterprises? Under what legal principles do they operate and how are they held accountable to shareholders or others? A number of high profile business failures, some involving accounting improprieties and criminal wrongdoing, as well as issues of escalating executive compensation unrelated to financial performance, have brought recent scrutiny to the laws and principles that govern public companies. Consequently a number of reforms have been suggested by shareholder activist groups and others intended to improve public company governance and performance. We will consider the nature, costs and benefits of such proposals.


One-hour Practicum Course accompanying the Torts, Contracts, and Criminal Law Courses

The Practicum Course is not really a separate course; rather, it is a hands-on, practice-based extension of the Torts, Contracts, and Criminal Law courses. Students explore the theoretical connections among the three courses in the context of resolving simulated but realistic client problems. The course stresses practical and analytical skills through writing exercises while also exploring substantive law questions that are addressed in other first semester courses.

Regulation of Banking

This course will introduce students to the United State’s system for regulating financial institutions with an emphasis on federal regulation of banks.  The course will focus on 3 topics.  First, the course will discuss the history of U.S. banking law, including an overview of the policy justifications for strict regulation of banks.  Second, the course will continue by examining the statutorily granted powers conferred upon banks and the limitations placed upon the business activities of banks.  Finally, the course will end by covering the regulatory regime for (1) supervising bank activities (e.g. regulating a bank’s assets and liabilities, consumer protection, predatory lending), (2) correcting unsound banking practices, and (3) addressing bank failure.  If time permits, the course will also cover topics relating to the effect of technology, such as electronic banking and mobile banking, on existing banking regulations.  

Sales of Goods

In this course, we will study Articles 2 and 2A of the Uniform Commercial Code, which cover the sale and leases of goods. In your contracts class, you have already looked at some of the sections governing warranties and contract formation. We will expand on these topics and look at such questions as the obligations of the seller and the buyer, remedies, anticipatory breach, conditions, and the parol evidence rule. In addition, we will consider the CISG (the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods), which can override the UCC as adopted by U.S. states. The focus of this course will be practical and problem-based. Class-time will be spent applying the UCC provisions and interpreting caselaw to specific fact patterns. There will be graded written problems or drafting exercises throughout the semester in addition to a final exam.

Secured Transactions

This course introduces students to all aspects of security interests in personal property collateral, including creation, perfection, priorities (between competing security interests and between security interests and other property interest), and enforcement of security interests (including repossession/sale of collateral and distribution of sale proceeds). The main focus is Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code and helping students understand various techniques in reading and interpreting the Uniform Commercial Code. This course will emphasize the use of problems as a primary means of learning how to use the code and counsel hypothetical creditor or debtor clients in both transactional and litigation situations. This course will be useful for all students as Article 9’s complex network of rules underlies the spectrum of seemingly simple transactions to complicated business deals.


Academic Publications and Works in Progress

Mission-Driven Corporations and Shareholder Profit, ___ Geo. Wash. L. Rev. ___ (forthcoming)

Rethinking Virtual Currency Regulation in the Bitcoin Age, 90 Wash. L. Rev. 271 (2015) (with Michael W. Meredith)

Regulating the New Cashless World, 65 Ala. L. Rev. 77 (2013) (Discussed in American Banker and featured on Reg Blog)

The Rise of State Specific Attempts to Decipher the Sufficiency of a Debtor Name Standard Under Revised Article 9 and the End of Uniformity in Secured Transactions, 59 U. Kan. L. Rev. 85 (2010)

Counterfeit Fashion: The Interplay between Copyright and Trademark Law in Original Fashion Designs and Designer Knock-Offs, 18 Tex. Intell. Prop. L.J. 419(2010)(reprinted in Intellectual Property Law Review (Karen B. Tripp ed., West 2011) and judged by the editor as one of the best law review articles related to intellectual property law published in 2010)

Student Note, Extreme Policy Makeover: Re-Evaluating Current U.S.-Vietnam Relations under the International Religious Freedom Act, 14 Pac. Rim L. & Pol'y J. 771 (2005)