Vladimir Lissniak

Professor of Law Vladimir Lissniak is director of Pericles; he graduated from the International Law faculty of MGIMO almost 20 years ago and went on to represent Russia in France for a number of years as a diplomat; specializes in Negotiations and Dispute Resolution where he has had many years of experience both in the public and private sectors.

Principles of Business Law

Purpose of this Course

The course is designed to cover the basic areas of business law that you might encounter in your profession, as well as the areas of business law that are heavily tested on the CPA examination. As this is just a very brief, survey course, you will not gain with the ability to practice law, but you should, as a businessperson, be able to recognize potential legal problems when you see them, and to realize whether you need to scream for your lawyer or can handle a problem by yourself.

Business Law is a required course in most MBA programs and undergraduate business degrees for two reasons. First, of course, most deans of business schools think their students should stay out of jail if at all possible, and knowing business law should help that. Second, though, and more importantly, business law is designed to teach logical thinking skills. Law, as a discipline, is really about the language of logic, or sometimes lack thereof. It is taught not by lecture, but by discussion (something called the Socratic method). This method is supposed to make the students think critically. It means that we will not go through every point of law and the book in the class lectures. Instead, we will pick out and study the more interesting and discussable points.

Course Materials

Robert W. Emerson. Business Law, 4thed., 2004.


No homework or projects are assigned with the exception of your reading every week and being thoroughly prepared for class. But, to make sure you have indeed worked on the readings each week, participation in class will count for 10% of your grade. Participation will be judged on your ability to answer questions about the assigned readings and to intelligently discuss the course topic when called upon.

During the course the students will have to take 3 in class tests.

The course will be graded in accordance with the following schedule:

Class participation10%
Test I30%
Test II30%
Test III30%

Course Topics

  1. Introduction to the Business Law
  2. The Trial Process in the US and Russia
  3. Criminal law and procedure, Tort law
  4. Contracts
  5. Contract Problems
  6. Performance and Discharge of Contracts and Sales Contracts
  7. Property Law. Intellectual Property
  8. Commercial paper
  9. Debtor/Creditor Law and secured transactions
  10. Agency and Business Organizations
  11. Corporations and Corporate Governance
  12. Securities Regulation

You can download description of the course here.

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Takeovers, Restructuring, and Corporate Governance course starts on Tuesday, July 17, 2018.

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Fall Semester, 2018

Fall Semester starts on October 2, 2018.