Oliver Goodenough

CodeX Affiliated Faculty; Co-Director, Center for Legal Innovation and Professor of Law, Vermont Law School

Oliver Goodenough is an authority on several emerging areas of law.  He has pioneered the application of technology to legal processes, particularly in the field of contracts and business organizations. His goal is to create “digital institutions” within which reliable economic life can take place.  Professor Goodenough has helped Vermont and Nevada shape digital business organization initiatives – a direct application of these principles to law reform in the U.S. In Vermont, he was a principal author of legislative reports on Blockchain and other aspects of FinTech that have led to legislation giving institutional recognition to distributed ledger technology and business.

At the national level, he has collaborated with the Office of Financial Research at the Department of the Treasury to explore the possibility of automating financial instruments. Professor Goodenough’s other fields of research include entertainment law and applications of neuroscience and behavioral biology to legal questions.  His OFR paper with Mark Flood on “Contract as Automaton: The Computational Representation of Financial Agreements” has been widely cited as providing a conceptual foundation for computational law.  This work has led to the Legal Specification Protocol initiative, in which Professor Goodenough has taken an active role.

In the business world, he is a co-founder and Director of Skopos Labs, Inc., a company that applies machine-learning text analytics to legislative and regulatory enactments and their relevance to companies and industry segments.

In academia, he is currently a Professor of Law and the Director of the Center for Legal Innovation at Vermont Law School, Affiliated Faculty at Stanford’s CodeX Center for Legal Informatics, a Research Fellow of the Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research, a Lecturer at the University of Vermont’s School of Business Administration, and an Adjunct Professor at Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering.

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