Wayne Barnes

Professor of Law

Barnes_Waynes1

“Contracts and commercial law are involved in our lives on a daily basis. Whether you are signing an apartment lease, buying a dishwasher, downloading a track on iTunes, surfing a website, or even signing up for a Facebook account, the law of contract is implicated.”

Get to Know Wayne Barnes

What drew you to the law?

I started college actually as an accounting major, but soon realized it wasn’t my life calling. A friend’s father advised me during this time of soul-searching that law and business were a powerful combination and that there was a great need for people with expertise in both areas. After exploring law school and discovering that the law involves thinking and writing and problem-solving in order to serve others, I realized I had found my path.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

I enjoy breaking down complex legal subjects and getting the students to understand them. This is especially rewarding when I have to overcome their reticence to engage in the subject matter. One of the cases in my books describes my subject areas as a “dry-as-dust” area of the law, but they are important for students to learn nevertheless (and not quite as dry as they thought after going through my class, hopefully).

What do you hope students gain from your courses?

I hope that students understand the basic knowledge in the courses I teach, and that they will be able to call upon it in representing their clients in the future. Hopefully they feel confident that they can help their clients later by building upon the knowledge and skills learned in my classes.

What did you do prior to entering academia?

I practiced law for eight years in commercial litigation, creditors’ rights and bankruptcy, first at a law firm in Amarillo, Texas, and later at a large Dallas law firm.

What are you passionate about outside of the law?

My family, and especially watching my children perform. My oldest daughter is an aspiring professional violinist, and my son has performed in professional musical theatre shows (my youngest daughter can sing as well). They learned their skills in part by growing up hearing me attempting to perform Beatles songs.

What are your research interests?

My scholarship is primarily focused on contract law, including the implications of contract theory for ascertaining assent by consumers to standard form contracts. I am especially focusing on such assent to form contracts in the online Internet context, and the implications of the online environment for the contracting process. 

Publications

My publications are available on BePress SelectedWorks™.

Presentations

  • Moderator, “Performance & Enforcement Panel Discussion,” Tenth Annual International Conference on Contracts, UNLV Boyd School of Law, Las Vegas, NV (Feb. 28, 2015)
  • Presenter, “Correcting a False Step: Rethinking the ‘Actual Expenses’ Affirmative Defense to the Texas Constructive Trust Fund Act,” Texas A&M University School of Law Faculty Development Series, Fort Worth, TX (Jan. 28, 2015)
  • Presenter, “Correcting a False Step: Rethinking the “Actual Expenses” Affirmative Defense to the Texas Constructive Trust Fund Act,” Texas Tech University School of Law Faculty Exchange, Lubbock, TX (Nov. 11, 2014)
  • Presenter, panel discussion on Professor Nancy Kim’s new book, “Wrap Contracts: Foundations and Ramifications,” published by Oxford University Press. The panel was part of the Ninth Annual Conference on Contracts, St. Thomas University School of Law, Miami, FL, Feb. 21-22, 2014 (note: unsolicited invited presentation)
  • Presenter, “Render Unto Rawls: Law, Gospel, and the Evangelical Fallacy,” Love and Law Conference of the Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion and Ethics at Pepperdine University School of Law, Malibu, CA, Feb. 7-8, 2014
  • Presenter, “Render Unto Rawls: Law, Gospel, and the Evangelical Fallacy,” Texas Wesleyan University School of Law Faculty Development Series, Fort Worth, TX (April 3, 2013)
  • Presenter, “Consumer Assent to Standard Form Contracts and the Voting Analogy,” Eighth Annual International Contracts Conference, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, Fort Worth, TX (Feb. 23, 2013)
  • Presenter, “Render Unto Rawls: Law, Gospel, and the Evangelical Fallacy,” Texas Wesleyan University School of Law “half-baked” (works-in-progress) presentation, Fort Worth, TX (Feb. 1, 2013)
  • Moderator, “The Law of Disaster: A Discussion Focused on Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice,” Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, Hilton Head, SC (July 27, 2011)
  • Presenter, “Social Media and the Rise in Consumer Bargaining Power,” Sixth Annual International Conference on Contracts, Stetson University College of Law, Gulfport, FL (Feb. 19, 2011)
  • Presenter, “Social Media and the Rise in Consumer Bargaining Power,” Texas Wesleyan University School of Law Faculty Development Series, Fort Worth, TX (Feb. 16, 2011)

Expertise

  • Bankruptcy
  • Debt collection practices
  • Deceptive consumer practices
  • Online contracting

Courses

  • Bankruptcy
  • Consumer Law
  • Contracts
  • Secured Transactions

Academic Experience

  • Professor of Law
    Texas A&M University School of Law (2013-present)
  • Professor of Law
    Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (2008-2013)
  • Associate Professor of Law
    Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (2003-2008)

Education

  • J.D., Texas Tech University School, summa cum laude
    • Texas Tech Law Review (Editor-in-Chief)
    • Order of the Coif
  • B.B.A. in Finance, University of North Texas, cum laude

Awards / Honors

  • 1L (First Year) Professor of the Year, 2009-2010 (elected by students)
  • Upper-Level Professor of the Year, 2007-2008 (elected by students)
  • Hooding Speaker, Spring 2007 (Class of 2007) (elected by students)
  • Upper-Level Professor of the Year, 2006-2007 (elected by students)

Other Professional Activities

Professor Barnes serves as an editor of the annual survey of the Uniform Commercial Code, traditionally featured in The Business Lawyer, the premier periodical of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association.