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Carroll School of Management

Christine O'Brien

professor - business law department


J.D., Boston College Law School
B.A., Boston College


Professor Christine O'Brien has a long-standing research interest in employment discrimination and labor law, as well as accountant's liability and issues affecting the accounting profession. She has published articles about medical-legal topics including physician-assisted suicide, judicial estoppel in disability cases, international employment issues, and the law affecting fetal protection policies and other forms of gender discrimination in the workplace. She has published articles about legal issues surrounding workplace use of e-mail and the Internet, employer social media policies, no-rehire rules, the coverage of partners and shareholders under federal employment discrimination laws, and other legal issues relating to thresholds for coverage under federal antidiscrimination and other statutes; and about employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act.

She has taught the following courses: Business Law I, Business Law II, Introduction to Law and Legal Process, Labor Law, Labor and Employment Law, The Law of Business Organizations component of the MBA core, Law and Society, Law II/Business Law, and The Legal Environment of Business. She has published articles in the Journal of Legal Studies Education on pedagogical issues relating to integrating computerized research into the undergraduate business curriculum, methods of teaching the Uniform Commercial Code, and changes to the educational requirements for Certified Public Accountants.


Professor O'Brien served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Legal Studies Education and staff editor of the American Business Law Journal, both refereed journals of the Academy of Legal Studies in Business. She served as a voting member of the Executive Committee of the ALSB, and on its Research Committee. She is a past president of the North Atlantic Regional Business Law Association, and currently serves on its Executive Committee. She is a member of the board of editors of the Business Law Review and is also a reviewer for the American Business Law Journal and the Journal of Legal Studies Education. She received the Jackson Lewis Best Employment Law Paper, Distinguished Proceedings Paper and Holmes-Cardozo Finalist Awards at the Academy of Legal Studies in Business Conference, 2012. Her research is frequently a top ten download on the Social Science Research Network.


  • The Top Ten NLRB Facebook Firings and Employer Social Media Policies” forthcoming Oregon Law Review (2014).
  • "Exceeding Authorized Access in the Workplace: Prosecuting Disloyal Conduct under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act." American Business Law Journal, forthcoming (with S. Greene).
  • “Managing the Risk of Trade Secret Loss Due to Job Mobility in a Talent-Based Innovation Economy with the Theory of Inevitable Disclosure,” 12 Journal of High Technology Law 373-449 (Spring 2012) (lead article) (with M. Reder).
  • “The First Facebook Firing Case under the NLRA: Exploring the Limits of Labor Law Protection for Concerted Communication on Social Media,” 45 Suffolk University Law Review 29-66 (2011).
  • “Employer E-mail Policies and the National Labor Relations Act: D.C. Circuit Bounces Register-Guard Back to the Obama Board on Discriminatory Enforcement Issue,” 61 Labor Law Journal 5-14 (Spring 2010) (lead article).
  • “Employees on Guard: Employer Policies Restrict NLRA-Protected Concerted Activities on E-Mail,” 88 Oregon Law Review 195-253 (2009).
  • “When Union Members in a Members-Only Non-Majority Union (MONMU) Want Weingarten Rights: How High Will the Blue Eagle Fly?” 10 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business and Employment Law 599-626 (2008).


Professor O'Brien is a member of the Massachusetts and federal bars. She practiced law at a Boston firm specializing in labor and employment law and interned at the National Labor Relations Board's Boston Office