Legal scholars, judges give advanced praise for new book by Professor Jim Rossi

Jim Rossi, the Harry M. Walborsky Professor of Law and associate dean for research at Florida State University College of Law, has just published a new book, Regulatory Bargaining and Public Law (Cambridge University Press 2005). The book is receiving advanced praise from some of the leading legal scholars and judges in the United States.

According to Matthew Spitzer, the dean of the University of Southern California Law School, “Regulatory Bargaining and Public Law is a must-read for anyone with a serious interest in the modern law of regulation.” Spitzer, who is a lawyer and an economist, adds, “Rossi’s approach yield fresh, new insights.”

In the book, Professor Rossi explores the implications of a bargaining perspective for institutional governance and public law in deregulated industries, such as electric power and telecommunications. Leading media accounts blame deregulation for failures in competitive restructuring policies, as with the California deregulation fiasco. However, Professor Rossi argues that governmental institutions, often influenced by private stakeholders, share blame for the defects in deregulated markets. The first part of the book explores the minimal role that judicial intervention played for much of the twentieth century in public utility industries and how deregulation presents new opportunities and challenges for public law.

The second part of the book explores the role of public law in a deregulatory environment, focusing on the positive and negative influences it creates for the behavior of private stakeholders and public institutions in a bargaining-focused political process. According to the Honorable Richard D. Cudahy, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Professor Rossi’s book “warns against a ‘deference trap’ leading courts to passive roles in conflicts involving political institutions, such as regulatory agencies and states.” To address such concerns, Professor Rossi’s book suggests a unified set of default rules to guide courts in the United States and elsewhere as they address the complex issues that will come before them in a deregulatory environment.

“Public Policy analysts, legal scholars and students of political economy will all find the book an invaluable resource,” says Daniel Farber, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Herbert Hovenkamp, a historian and professor of law at the University of Iowa adds, “Jim Rossi’s Regulatory Bargaining and Public Law should be on the bookshelf of everyone interested in the regulatory process, antitrust, and public law.” The book was released as a new title by Cambridge University Press in May.

Professor Rossi is an established administrative and regulatory law scholar who specializes in the energy industry. He is co-author of Energy, Economics and the Environment (Foundation Press 2000), the leading energy law casebook used in law school classrooms, and teaches Administrative Procedure, Antitrust, Energy Law, Regulated Industries, and Torts. Professor Rossi graduated with high distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1991 and in 1994 received an LL.M. from Yale Law School, where he was an Olin Fellow. He also has served as a faculty member at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Law, and has taught as a visiting faculty member at the University of Texas School of Law and Chicago-Kent College of Law.