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J. Russell VerSteeg
Contact Information
617-422 7264

Areas of Expertise
  • Patent Law and Litigation
  • Sports Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Visual Arts and the Law
  • Trademark Law
  • Legal History
  • Intellectual Property
  • Copyright Law
  • Contracts
  • Computer Law
  • Commercial and Consumer Law
  • Ancient Law and History

J. Russell VerSteeg

Professor of Law


JD, University of Connecticut School of Law
AB, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Professional Background

Before joining the New England Law faculty in 1991, Professor Russell VerSteeg was a visiting professor at Western New England College School of Law, where he directed The Lawyering Process Program. Previously, he was an associate at the Hartford, Connecticut, firm of Shipman & Goodwin.

Professor Versteeg is the author of Law of the Ancient World (2002), Law in Ancient Egypt (2002), Early Mesopotamian Law (2001), and Essential Latin for Lawyers (1990). He has written more than 20 articles, half of which relate to copyright issues. His areas of interest include intellectual property and legal history.

Scholarly Work

Sports Law Cases & Materials (4th Edition, Jack Sahl co-author), (2019)

Ancient Egyptian Roots of Trademarks, 63 The Antitrust Bulletin 21 (2018)

Historical Perspectives & Reflections on Matal V. Tam and the Future of Offensive Trademarks, 25 Journal of Intellectual Property Law 48 (2018)

Consent in Sports & Recreational Activities: Using Contract Law Terminology to Clarify Tort Principles, 12 DePaul Journal of Sports Law And Contemporary Problems (2016)

Blackhawk Down or Blackhorse Down? The Lanham Act's Prohibition of Trademarks that "May Disparage" & The First Amendment, 68 Oklahoma Law Review (2016)

Instant Replay: A Contemporary Legal Analysis, 4 University of Mississippi Sports Law Review 153 (2015) (Kimberley Maruncic co-author)

Reexamining Two Pesos, Qualitex, & Wal-Mart: A Different Approach…Or Perhaps Just Old Abercrombie Wine in a New Bottle?, 23 The Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal 65 (2012)

Law, Technology and Professional Basketball, Legal Issues in Professional Basketball (2011) (Lewis Kurlantzick ed.)

The Essentials of Greek and Roman Law, (2009)

A Cost-Benefit Analysis of a Pole Vaulting Helmet Requirement: Why the NFHS and Other Rulemaking Bodies Should Not Adopt Such a Rule, 1 Michigan State Entertainment & Sports Law Journal 55 (2009)

Illustrated History of the Pole Vault, (2008)

Legal Comedy: A Study of Terence’s The Phormio, 17 Tulane Journal of International and Comparative Law 145 (2008)

Originality and Creativity in Copyright Law, Intellectual Property and Information Wealth: Issues and Practices in the Digital Age (2007) (Peter Yu ed.)

Viacom v. YouTube: Preliminary Observations, 9 North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology 43 (2007)

Arresting Vaulting Pole Technology, 8 Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law 93 (2005)

Law and Justice in Caesar’s Gallic Wars, 33 Hofstra Law Review 571 (2004)

A Legal Commentary on the National Federation of High School Associations Track and Field Rules Relating to the Pole Vault, 14 Marquette Sports Law Journal: Journal of the National Sports Law Institute 431 (2004)

Pole Vault Injuries: Product Liability and Commercial Law Theories, 5 Texas Review of Entertainment Sports Law 59 (2004)

Rhetoric and Law in Ovid’s Orpheus, 15 Journal of Law & Literature 395 (2003) co-authored with Nina Barclay

Negligence in the Air: Safety, Legal Liability, and the Pole Vault, 4 Texas Review of Entertainment & Sports Law 109 (2003)

Intent, Originality, Creativity, and Joint Authorship, 68 Brooklyn Law Review 123 (2002)

The Machinery of Law in Pharaonic Egypt: Organization, Courts, and Judges on the Ancient Nile, 9 Cardozo Journal of International & Comparative Law 105 (2002)

Legal Procedure and the Law of Evidence in Ancient Egypt, 9 Tulane Journal of International and Comparative Law 233 (2001)

The Roman Law Roots of Copyright, 59 Maryland Law Review 522 (2000)

Early Mesopotamian Commercial Law, 30 University of Toledo Law Review 183 (1999)

A Statutory Analysis of the “Laws” of Little League Baseball, 9 Marquette Sports Law Journal: Journal of the National Sports Law Institute 103 (1998)

A Contract Analysis of the Trojan War, 40 Arizona Law Review 173 (1998)

Defining Author for Purposes of Copyright, 45 American University Law Review, 43 (1996)

Sparks in the Tinderbox: Feist, “Creativity” and the Legislative History of the 1976 Copyright Act, 56 University of Pittsburgh Law Review 549 (1995)

Law in Ancient Egyptian Fiction, 24 Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law 37 (1994)

Rethinking Originality, 34 William & Mary Law Review 801 (1993)

Iguanas, Toads & Toothbrushes: Land Use Regulation of Art as Signage, 25 Georgia Law Review 437 (1991)

Copyright and the Educational Process: The Right of Teacher Inception, 75 Iowa Law Review 381 (1990)

Product Liability and Commercial Law Theories Relating to Concussions, 10 Journal of Business Technology Law 39 ()