Randal C. Picker

Leffmann Professor of Commercial Law

Senior Fellow, The Computation Institute of the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory

The University of Chicago Law School
1111 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

Phone: (773) 702-0864
Fax: (773) 702-0730
Email: r-picker@uchicago.edu
Law School Web Site: http://picker.uchicago.edu/

Randal C. Picker currently teaches classes at the Law School in Secured Transactions and Antitrust and a seminar on antitrust and intellectual property policy. In prior years, Professor Picker has taught Network Industries, Bankruptcy and Copyright; Technology, Innovation and Society; Corporate Reorganizations, Commercial Law and Civil Procedure. He has also taught seminars on Game Theory and the Law and The Legal Infrastructure of High-Tech Industries. In Fall, 2005, he is also teaching The Legal Infrastructure of Business at the Graduate School of Business. In Spring 2002, he co-taught a seminar on Enron with Douglas Baird.

Randy Picker graduated from the College of the University in 1980, cum laude, with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He then spent two years in the Department of Economics, where he was a Friedman Fellow, completing his doctoral course work and exams. He received a masters degree in 1982. Thereafter, he attended the Law School and graduated in 1985 cum laude. He is a member of the Order of the Coif. While at the Law School, Mr. Picker was an associate editor of the Law Review. After graduation, Mr. Picker clerked for Judge Richard A. Posner of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He then spent three years with Sidley & Austin in Chicago, where he worked in the areas of debt restructuring and corporate reorganizations in bankruptcy.

Mr. Picker is a member of the National Bankruptcy Conference and served as project reporter for the Conference’s Bankruptcy Code Review Project. He is also a commissioner to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and served as a member of the drafting committee to revise Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code. He is the author, along with Douglas Baird and Thomas Jackson, of Security Interests in Personal Property: Cases, Problems and Materials (3rd ed., Foundation Press, 2002). Professor Picker is also the author of Game Theory and the Law, co-authored with Douglas G. Baird and Robert Gertner.

His recent research has focused on copyright issues, including digital distribution and the digital video recorder (TiVo); antitrust issues in high-tech industries, including the Microsoft case and the Federal Trade Commission’s case against Intel and the role of cross-licensing of intellectual property; cyber-security; and telecommunications, including pieces on the 1996 Telecommunications Act’s unbundling regime and the intersection of antitrust and the 1996 Act. He has also extended his analysis of game theory and the law by incorporating agent-based computer simulations.


Recent Talks, Working Papers, Publications and Commentaries






Intellectual Property


Network Industries


  • Antitrust Law, Winter, 2006
    This is a basic course on antitrust law, with special emphasis on how modern technology might challenge traditional antitrust principles. Topics include Rule of Reason vs. per se analysis, analysis of joint ventures, predatory pricing, as set forth in more detail in the
  • The Legal Infrastructure of Business, Fall, 2005, GSB 42201
    Almost every business decision has legal consequences or takes place in an extensive legal framework. Entrepreneurs and managers can no more ignore the laws of the state than they can the laws of physics. This course will provide a general introduction to law and business. It will do so using traditional legal analysis, supplemented by a substantial use of law and economics. Topics to be covered include: choice of corporate form; capital markets laws; the role of monitors; antitrust; intellectual property; standard setting; and telecommunications and the regulation of natural monopoly, as set forth in more detail in the syllabus.
  • Secured Transactions, Fall, 2005
    This course covers security interests in personal property. With the new Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code going effective in most states as of July 1, 2001, we are at a point of transition. The good news is that most of the fundamentals from the prior law continue in the new law, plus many unresolved issues are covered by the new statute. For details, see the syllabus.
  • Seminar on Antitrust and Intellectual Property Policy, Spring, 2006
    This seminar will look at issues relating to shared property systems. Likely topics to be covered include IP licensing; derivative works in copyright; reverse engineering of trade secrets; copyright collectives; patent pools; the essential facilities doctrine; open source software; and wi-fi communications. For details, see the syllabus.
  • Network Industries, Fall, 2004
    This is a course in the regulation of natural monopoly, both physical and virtual. The course examines basic issues in the public and private creation of network industries, such as the railroad, the telegraph, the electricity transmission grid and the telecommunications grid, before turning to modern virtual networks. We also consider the transition to digital television in the United States, as well as rules regulating national TV station ownership and satellite broadcasting. We consider the constitutional dimensions of rate of return regulation, practical issues in rate design, such as incentive-based regulation, two-part pricing, and Ramsey pricing. We also examine in detail the modern approach to unbundling networks, as seen under the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the Energy Policy Act of 1992, all as set forth in more detail in the syllabus.
  • Enron, Spring, 2002
    This seminar tracks developments in the collapse of Enron. Issues to be considered including deal structure of special purpose entities, accounting issues, duties of boards of directors and the indictment of Arthur Andersen, all as set forth in more detail in the syllabus.
  • Bankruptcy, Winter, 2005
    This is a basic course on bankruptcy law. Topics are set forth in detail in the syllabus.
  • Copyright, Spring, 2005
    This is a basic course on copyright law. Topics are set forth in detail in the syllabus.


Copyright © 2000-05, Randal C. Picker. All Rights Reserved.