Texas A&M Law Review Hosts Transportation Symposium

April 11, 2016

Texas A&M Law Review On April 1, 2016, transportation and legal experts from around the country gathered at Texas A&M University School of Law to participate in the Texas A&M Law Review symposium “Changing Landscape of Transportation: Technology, Data, and the Law.”

The esteemed group of presenters included scholars, practitioners, policy makers, and industry experts who addressed a variety of legal issues centered on the nexus of transportation and technology.

The Texas A&M Law Review designed the symposium to shed light on recent and impending changes in transportation and to promote the legal and ethical frameworks necessary to face these changes.

“This symposium serves to connect Texas A&M's proud engineering history with current legal trends, and the Texas A&M Law Review is proud to play a part in these dynamic intersections,” said Brent Doré, Symposia Editor. “As our expert speakers made clear, transportation connects with virtually every area of law, and events like this provide a valuable resource to the legal community.”

LR-transpo-Glancy-SpeakingProfessor Dorothy Glancy, Santa Clara University School of Law, presented the opening keynote.

Dorothy Glancy, professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law, presented the morning keynote, “Is America Ready for the Changing Transportation Landscape?” in which she discussed emerging transportation systems, including Hyperloop technology, drones, and automated vehicles.

Glancy provided the backdrop for the remainder of the symposium by introducing the regulatory, privacy, and intellectual property concerns facing the transportation sector.

She remarked on the timeliness of the symposium.

“Transportation is all around us, and touches almost every aspect of our lives. That’s because we’re a mobile species,” she said. “First came the wheel, then the chariot. And after that there was the car, and after that there was the airplane, but they all encountered fairly similar kinds of legal problems.”

Commissioner Victor Vandergriff, a member of the Texas Transportation Commission, delivered the afternoon keynote focused on transportation as the state’s biggest economic driver. Vandergriff challenged regulators to keep up with the demands of commerce, noting that as the population grows, transportation infrastructure innovation will become the cornerstone of prosperity.

He pointed out the acute need for legal counsel in the rapidly changing transportation industry.

LR-Transpo-Vandergriff-SpeakingCommissioner Victor Vandergriff, Texas Transportation Commission, presented the afternoon keynote on how growth and changes in the transportation industry create opportunities in the legal sector.

“There’s just almost no area of the law that doesn’t come into play eventually in transportation. And it’s also something you can be feel good to be a part of because not only are you satisfying the needs of your client but also your community when you’re engaged in that area,” he said. “I think any law student, any lawyer would do well to continue to monitor and watch what goes on in transportation because it’s eventually going to affect your practice.”

The symposium featured two panel presentations moderated by Ginger Goodin of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The morning panel explored the legal challenges facing ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, the effects of recent technological innovations on freight, and the practitioner’s perspective on the evolution of transportation systems. The afternoon panel focused on the safety and liability concerns of automation in transportation, including data collection in cars and the potential for hacking and data breaches.

Attorneys, law students, and industry experts alike found the topic engaging and relevant, as transportation—over land, air, or water—affects almost every facet of daily life. The symposium demonstrated the commitment of Texas A&M University School of Law to prepare the next generation of lawyers to offer solutions for the legal and ethical questions facing the rapidly evolving transportation industry.

“Technology can completely change over even a couple of years,” Glancy said. “There are a whole lot of challenges, and it looks like we’ve got a good group of law students who are getting ready to answer those challenges.”

LR-Transpo-Vandergriff-Exec-BoardCommissioner Vandergriff with the Texas A​&M Law Review Executive Board: Steve Krusemark, Shawn Johnson, Andres Martinez, Commissioner Victor Vandergriff, Brent Doré, Chelsea Mikulencak.