Professor Laura Spitz

Laura Spitz

Professor of Law
J.S.D. 2006, Cornell University
J.D. 1993, University of British Columbia
B.A. 1989, University of Toronto

  Curriculum Vitae  UNM-DR     SSRN

Contact Information

 Ph.: 505-277-1772
 Office: 3216
  laura.spitz@law.unm.edu

Profile

Laura Spitz teaches contracts, commercial law and business law. Her current research focuses on the line between subjects and objects in the common law system and the limits of their utility as categories in both law and society. Her forthcoming co-authored article in the Harvard Environmental Law Review asks whether legal subjectivity is a useful strategy for advancing progressive environmental law claims, and another forthcoming article examines historical practices of humanization and dehumanization in the construction of liberal legal subjectivity on the colony of Vancouver Island. She also writes about the difficulty of translating these categories into concepts cognizable in Indigenous legal systems.

Immediately prior to joining the UNM faculty, Professor Spitz was a vice provost and associate dean at Cornell University, and before that, a lawyer in the corporate commercial group at Miller Thomson LLP (Vancouver Office). Her practice experience includes both domestic and international business transactions, commercial transactions (including secured transactions), tax law, social purpose and non-profit business law, banking law and Indigenous economic development law. Professor Spitz has also taught at the Sorbonne, Cornell University, Emory University, the University of Colorado and the University of Ottawa.

Professor Spitz is active in the community. She is a consulting and testifying expert in contracts, commercial law and business law cases. She has served on the boards of directors of several theater companies, presented as part of continuing legal education programs, joined several Amici Curiae briefs filed in the U.S. Supreme Court, taught as a volunteer art teacher in Albuquerque public schools, participated in panels before the 10th Circuit Judicial Conference and testified before a Georgia senate committee on proposed changes to state exemptions for the purposes of the Bankruptcy Code. Outside of work, Professor Spitz loves rock climbing, reading, hiking, cooking and biking.

In the News

Contracts

Please see instructor for description.

Sales

Please see instructor for description.

Business Associations

Please see instructor for description.

Publications

Books & Book Chapters

More or Less Human: Colonialism, Common Law, and the Social Construction of Humanity on Vancouver Island, 1849-1864, Land, First Nations and James Douglas: Indigenous and Treaty Rights in the Colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia (Graham Brazier, Peter Cook, Hamar Foster, John Lutz, and Neil Vallance eds., forthcoming 2020).
Available at: SSRN

Theorizing the More Responsive State: The Radical Potential for Constitutional Pluralism in North America, Transcending the Boundaries of Law (Martha Albertson Fineman ed. 2010).
Available at: UNM-DR

Articles

Nature’s Personhood and Property’s Virtues, 45 HARV. ENVTL. L. REV. (forthcoming 2021) (co-authored with Eduardo Peñalver).
Available at: SSRN

Red River, White Law, TRIBAL L. J. BLOG (June 19, 2019).
Available at: UNM-DR

U.S. Nonprofit Activity in Cuba: Challenges in Cuban Law and Practice, 50 CORNELL INT’L L. J. 199 (2017) (co-authored with Elizabeth Brundige, Lucía Domínguez Cisneros and Eduardo Peñalver).
Available at: UNM-DR

The Evolving Architecture of North American Integration, 80 COL. L. REV. 735 (2009).
Available at: UNM-DR

Wands Away (or Preaching to Infidels Who Wear Earplugs), 41 LAW TEACHER: INT’L J. OF LEGAL ED. 314 (2007).
Available at: UNM-DR

The Gift of Enron: An Opportunity to Talk About Capitalism, Equality and the Promise of a North American Charter of Fundamental Rights, 66 OHIO STATE L. J. 315 (2005).
Available at: UNM-DR

I Think, Therefore I Am; I Feel, Therefore I Am Taxed: Descartes, Tort Reform, and the Civil Rights Tax Relief Act, 35 N.M. L. REV. 429 (2005).
Available at: NMLR

At the Intersection of North American Free Trade and Same-Sex Marriage, 9 UCLA J. OF INT'L L. 163 (2004).
Available at: UNM-DR

The Jurisprudence of the Military Industrial Complex, 1 SEATTLE J. FOR SOC. JUST. 541 (2003) (co-authored with Ann Scales).
Available at: UNM-DR

Dissertation

When Constitutions Collide: North American Free Trade, Economic Globalization and Transnational Integration, DOCTORAL DISSERTATION (Cornell University 2006).
Available at: Cornell-DR

Bar & Trade Publications

Perhaps Divided But Never Conquered: Taking Back Our Differences, NAWL PUB. (Toronto 1994).

R. v. Parks: Automatism and Murder, 72 CAN. BAR REV. 224 (1993) (co-authored with Isabel Grant).
Available at: UNM-DR

Book Reviews

Responsible Business: Self-governance and Law in Transnational Economic Transactions (Olaf Dilling, Martin Herberg and Gerd Winter eds.), 44 LAW & SOCIETY REV. 413 (2010).
Available at: UNM-DR

 

Briefs

Brief for Professors as Amicus Curiae, Lamar, Archer & Cofrin, LLP v. R. Scott Appling, 138 S.Ct. 1752 (March 29, 2018) (U.S. SUP. CT. NO. 16-1215).
Available at: UNM-DR

Brief for Professors as Amicus Curiae, In re Jevic Holding Corp., 137 S.Ct. 973 (October 17, 2016) (U.S. SUP. CT. NO. 15-649).
Available at: UNM-DR

Brief for Professors as Amicus Curiae, Husky International Electronics Inc. v. Daniel Lee Ritz Jr. (January 22, 2016) (U.S. SUP. CT. No. 15-145).
Available at: UNM-DR

Brief for Intervenor, Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), M.v.H., 2 SCR 3 (May 20, 1999) (CANADA SUP. CT. NO. 25838). 
Available at: UNM-DR

Brief for Intervenor, Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), Ferrel v. Ontario, 116 O.A.C. 176 (December 7, 1998) (ONTARIO CT. APP. NO. Case C27917). 
Available at: UNM-DR

Brief for Intervenor, Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), Goertz v. Gordon, 2 SCR 27 (May 2, 1996) (CANADA SUP. CT. NO. 24622).
Available at: UNM-DR

Popular Press

Red River, White Law, Tribal Law Journal Blog (June 19, 2019).
Available at: UNM-DR

The Law and the Human, Cornell College of Arts & Sciences (October 23, 2017).
Available at: Cornell University Blog

Discussing Human Beingwith Songhees Nation, Vancouver Island Treaties Conference (2018).
Available at: UNM-DR

Laura Spitz from Songhees UVic on Vimeo.

Impact

Perhaps Divided But Never Conquered: Taking Back Our Differences, NAWL PUB. (Toronto 1994).

Canadian National Association of Women and the Law, Research & Essay Competition (1994)

R. v. Parks: Automatism and Murder, 72 CAN. BAR REV. 224 (1993) (co-authored with Isabel Grant).

Cited: R. v. Stone, [1999] 2 S.C.R. 290 (Supreme Court of Canada).
Reprinted: CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE: PROOF, DEFENSES AND BEYOND (Jennie Abell and Elizabeth Sheehy eds. 3rd ed. 2003).

Law School News