Of Law, Teaching and Defamation

Every semester for the past 10 years Daniel Rice, a professor of law and public policy practice at Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management, has led the bright and early 8:00 AM section of LPP 255: Introduction to the Legal System and, in those 10 years, there have been zero class cancellations due to snow.

To Rice, the legal system can be destructive as individuals go through cases, using all available resources, time and energy. However, Rice views teaching as constructive. He entered the world of higher education to teach students techniques to help them avoid legal troubles in business and in their personal lives.

“Once you are in jail, it is a mess to get out,” said Rice.

Throughout the semester, he brings old, new and ongoing examples of the legal system into class to transform the legal jargon into real life applications. To Rice, talking about “real world” cases makes the subject of law more relatable to students.

Outside of the classroom, Rice focuses on researching the connections between technology and law. Last summer he presented a paper on the shift in power due to online reviews and defamation.

“People have not changed, but the technology has changed,” said Rice.

A single review today can potentially reach a million people or drive a company out of business.

In the future, he intends to focus his research on the new driverless car and truck technology.

“I’m blown away with what is coming,” explained Rice.

Rice first became interested in studying law while enrolled in the MBA program at Whitman. It was during that time that he met Patrick Cihon, a professor at Whitman who taught students about the legal system. After completing the MBA program, Rice went back to study law.

“Don’t do what I did, it’s a lot more expensive and time-consuming,” Rice advises students.

Now the new 3+3 Program allows Whitman students interested in law to partner with the College of Law at Syracuse University.

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