Shawn J. Bayern

Professor Shawn Bayern

Shawn J. Bayern

Larry and Joyce Beltz Professor of Torts and Associate Dean for Technology
Contact Information

Florida State University
College of Law
Advocacy Center, Room A202B
Phone: 850.644.8308


J.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2006 
B.S., Yale University, 1999

Professor Bayern's research focuses on the common law, primarily in contract law, tort law, and organizational law. He teaches Torts, Contracts, Agency & Partnership, and other related courses.

His research has criticized formalism and economic simplifications of the law. For example, in The Analytical Failures of Law and Economics (Cambridge University Press, 2023), he surveyed leading law-and-economics arguments and showed them to be fragile, self-contradictory, or otherwise problematic. His research has also offered creative transactional solutions to legal problems. In Autonomous Organizations (Cambridge University Press, 2021), he showed that modern LLCs are flexible enough to give legal personhood to software and considered the consequences of that capability. 

Professor Bayern is also the author of an introduction to the common law titled Principles and Possibilities in Common Law (West Academic, 2023) and, with Mel Eisenberg of Berkeley Law, of the Gilbert Law Summary on Contracts (West Academic, 15th ed. 2021). He is an elected member of the American Law Institute and serves as adviser to the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Miscellaneous Provisions and the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Medical Malpractice.

Before joining FSU Law, Professor Bayern was a visiting assistant professor at Duke Law School. He has also visited at Berkeley and Northwestern’s law schools. As a law student, he was editor-in-chief of the California Law Review and a recipient of the Thelen Marrin Prize for Academic Achievement, given annually at graduation to the student with the strongest academic record. Before his legal career, Professor Bayern worked in computing research, served on groups responsible for developing programming languages, and wrote several books and articles about computer programming. He also created the Central Authentication Service (CAS), a software framework for computer security that has been adopted by many universities, including Florida State.  He served as associate dean for academic affairs at Florida State from 2019 to 2023.


Select Recent and Forthcoming Publications

A Research Agenda for Organizational Law (Edward Elgar) (forthcoming 2024)

Principles and Possibilities in Common Law (West Academic) (forthcoming 2023)

The Analytical Failures of Law and Economics (Cambridge University Press) (forthcoming 2023)

Autonomous Organizations (Cambridge University Press 2021)

Gilbert Law Summaries on Contracts (with Melvin A. Eisenberg) (15th ed., West Academic 2020)

Closely Held Organizations (2d ed., Carolina Academic Press 2020)

Reverse Engineering (by) Artificial Intelligence, in Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Artificial Intelligence (Edward Elgar) (forthcoming 2022)

Introduction to Contract Law, in Laws of Medicine: Core Legal Aspects for the Healthcare Professional (Springer) (forthcoming 2022)

Intelligent Remedies, in The Cambridge Handbook on Artificial Intelligence and The Law (Cambridge University Press) (forthcoming 2022)

Agreements, Algorithms, and Agency, in The Cambridge Handbook of the Law of Algorithms (Woody Barfield, editor) (Cambridge University Press 2020)

Implied Organizations and Technological Governance, 64 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2023)

Adventures with an Artificially Intelligent Language Model (and What It Might Say About the Law), 25 Green Bag 2d __ (forthcoming 2022)

Business Law Beyond Business, 46 J. Corp L. 521 (2021)

Are Autonomous Entities Possible?, 114 Nw. U. L. Rev. Online 23 (2019)