Thomas C. Folsom, J.D.





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Academic and practice experience in Intellectual Property, Business and Commercial Law, Contracts, Jurisprudence and other subjects.

JD, Georgetown University Law Center; Editor, American Criminal Law Review

B.S., United States Air Force Academy


Professor Folsom earned a B.S. (concentration in Far Eastern Area Studies) from the U.S. Air Force Academy, and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center, with post-graduate work towards the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts at St. John's College. He has studied Chinese and Greek, and has dabbled in Arabic. He lived for two years in China (Taiwan, ROC).

In the Air Force and with the National Security Agency, Folsom worked in the fields of cryptology and cryptanalysis, including computer-assisted code making and code breaking.

Professor Folsom held federal appellate and trial court judicial clerkships with Judge Kunzig at the U.S. Court of Claims in Washington, D.C. (one of the predecessor courts to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit) and with Judge Finesilver at the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.

He's also been partner in two law firms: Davis, Graham & Stubbs, in Denver, Colorado; and Chrisman, Bynum & Johnson, in Boulder, Colorado (this firm subsequently joined Faegre & Benson, which in turn later merged to create Faegre Baker Daniels, with lawyers and consultants in the U.S., Europe, and Asia).

His practice experience was primarily in issuer-side corporate finance and venture capital, acquirer-side mergers & acquisitions, and inventor/proprietor/author-side intellectual property, representing clients in the oil & gas, ski resort, herbal tea, commercial real estate, and tech industries. He's also done a little bit of trial work and is a registered patent attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Between or during times in the private practice of law, he has taught law at the University of Colorado School of Law (adjunct), University of Denver School of Law (lecturer, adjunct, and visiting professor), Gonzaga Law School (summer visiting professor), University of North Dakota (Assistant and Associate Professor), and Regent University (Associate Professor and Professor). He gave up his partnership and committed to academia in 2002.

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Professor Folsom's interests concern obligations (duties: whence they come, how they compel obedience and how they generate rights) and the rule of law (in a special sense: whether there are general conditions under which anyone ought in conscience to obey the law; and how any given law can be improved more nearly to approximate those conditions). He is concerned with the question: is there a common morality appropriate for designing a rule of law in a global and tech era? His current fields of interest are cyberspace and the code world; intellectual property and the disaggregation of IP offenses; and normative jurisprudence in accordance with a specified restatement of the obvious.

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Courses taught: Since leaving private practice in 2001, Folsom has primarily taught Contracts, Intellectual Property, and Transactional Law, but has answered his Dean’s requests to teach a number of other courses: [1] Patents; [2] Copyrights; [3] Trademarks;  [4] Business Associations; [5] Securities Regulation; [6] Mergers & Acquisitions; [7] Corporate Finance; [8] Torts; [9] Negotiable Instruments and Payment Systems; [10] Origins of the Western Legal Tradition; [11] Advanced Legal Reasoning, Analysis and Writing; [12] Analytical Methods for Lawyers; and [13] Shari'a Law.


In 2005, Folsom earned the law school professor of the year (3L) award. In 2009 , Folsom earned first place in the Ladas Memorial Award Competition for writing excellence on the subject of trademarks, professional category, for "Space Pirates, Hitchhikers, Guides, and the Public Interest: Transformational Trademark Law in Cyberspace," awarded by the International Trademark Association (INTA). In 2010 , Folsom earned the Regent University Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship.

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Professor Folsom has served on the Regent University Faculty Senate as law school representative from 2005-present, as Vice-president in 2009, and three terms as President from 2010-13. He has also been a member of various organizations (the local Inns of Court, Norfolk-Portsmouth Bar Association, AIPLA, and ABA-IP Section committees). He has served as Co-Director/Law School Liaison to the Oxford Study Abroad program.

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Publications and Presentations

Since joining the Regent faculty in Fall, 2002, Folsom has written nearly a dozen articles on cyberspace and the code world, intellectual property law, and normative jurisprudence and legal theory. His articles have appeared in law reviews published by McGeorge, Rutgers, Tulane, Akron, and other law schools, and his work has been reprinted in The Trademark Law Reporter. He is a frequent presenter at academic and professional conferences.

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