Leigh Anenson

Associate Professor

Logistics, Business & Public Policy
3429 Van Munching Hall
LL.M., Georgetown University Law Center, with distinction; J.D., University of Akron School of Law, magna cum laude

Professor Anenson is an Associate Professor of Business Law at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, and a Senior Fellow in the Department of Business Law & Taxation at Monash University.  She is an Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Business Ethics, Regulation, and Crime (C-BERC) and an Affiliate Faculty to the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.  She is the Core Coordinator for the business law curriculum and helped form the new Business Law Fellows Program.  She serves as a faculty advisor to the Business Law Society and to the Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity.  She was honored with the Smith School Distinguished Teaching Awards for the 2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2012-2013, 2013-2014, and 2014-2015 academic years.

Professor Anenson is an internationally recognized scholar working in the area of American equity law and the related areas of remedies, private law, and jurisprudence.  Equitable principles arise in a variety of commercial settings comprising unfair competition, contracts, corporate governance, and financial fraud.  Professor Anenson’s pioneering research has focused on equitable defenses, including laches, unclean hands, and estoppel.  Her studies have been building a theoretical foundation for these historic defenses in modern litigation. 

One of her projects centers on current issues concerning the fusion of law and equity. She has several articles concentrating on the extension of the doctrine of unclean hands to bar legal remedies like damages.  She also has a book on that subject, “Judging Equity: The Fusion of Unclean Hands in US Law,” forthcoming at Cambridge University Press.  Another project is developing a theory of statutory interpretation and equitable discretion in federal regulation. Her latest article examining unclean hands in patent law, “Inequitable Conduct in Retrospective: Analyzing Unclean Hands in Patent Remedies,” was published as the lead article in the American University Law Review.  She also has two working papers analyzing Supreme Court decisions on several equitable defenses across multiple statutes.  In addition to providing a critique and justification of the Court’s jurisprudence, these papers derive a decisional model for determining the availability and scope of equitable defenses in federal legislation.

Her secondary research stream is interdisciplinary and involves pension law and policy.  Her most recent article, “Reforming Public Pensions,” was published as the lead article in the Yale Law & Policy Review.  She also has an article forthcoming at the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, “Public Pensions and Fiduciary Law: A View from Equity,” on the subject of pension governance.

Professor Anenson’s research has earned numerous awards, including the two most prestigious international awards given by the Academy of Legal Studies in Business (ALSB).  (Ralph C. Hoeber Memorial Awards, 2005, 2006, 2007) (Holmes-Cardozo Awards, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009).  Several of her articles have been published in the leading business law journal, as well as in journals at top law schools.  Her research has been widely cited in academic articles, leading law textbooks, and court opinions.

Professor Anenson has held visiting fellowships in commercial equity law at the University of Cambridge, the University of Sydney, and the Australian National University.  She is a former Staff Editor of the American Business Law Journal and Executive Articles Editor of the International Business Law Review. She is past President of the International Section of the ALSB as well as its Pacific Southwest Region. Professor Anenson was a recipient of the academy’s Early Career Achievement Award.

Prior to academia, Professor Anenson held positions in industry and law as an export manager, international business consultant, judicial attorney, and commercial litigator. She joined the Smith School faculty in 2007.