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Michael H. Dessent

Professor of Law
Dean Emeritus

J.D. Northwestern University [cum laude, Order of the Coif]
B.S. Northwestern University [business]
Contracts I & II, Business Organizations, Enterprise Law, Internship Seminar
Professor and Dean Emeritus Dessent fulfilled a variety of leadership roles and has represented some of the leading businesses in the United States throughout a distinguished legal career. Dean Dessent has held several senior executive and directorship positions for publicly traded corporations, typically as Executive Vice-President and General Counsel. As Chief Executive Officer of California Western School of Law for 1986-96, he directed the institution into the forefront of legal education. He and his wife have served on a number of boards of charitable entities in San Diego.


  • Michael H. Dessent, Enterprise Law Casebook (4th ed. 2014).
  • Michael H. Dessent, First Year Contract Law (Joseph Christensen, Co., 6th ed. 2012).
  • Michael H. Dessent, So you’ve passed the Bar - Now What (Blackstone 2011).
  • Michael H. Dessent, California Corporation Manual (2000).
  • Michael H. Dessent, Browse-Wraps, Click-Wraps and Cyber Law, Our Shrinking (WRAP) WorldCalifornia Corporation Manual (2000).
  • Michael H. Dessent, Browse-Wraps, Click-Wraps and Cyber Law, Our Shrinking (WRAP) World, 15 T .J. Law Rev. I (2003), Cited in the American Law Institute's Draft of Proposed Legislation on Software Contracts.
  • Michael H. Dessent, Digital Handshakes in Cyberspace Under E-Sign: There's A New Sheriff In TownU. of Richmond L. Rev. 943 (2002).
  • Michael H. Dessent, Weapons to Fight Insider Trading in the 21st Century: A Call for the Repeal of Section 16(b)., 33 Akron L. Rev. 481 (2001), Briefly cited and discussed in Prof Hamilton's casebook, Corporations.
  • Michael H. Dessent, Joe Six-Pack, U.S. v. O'Hagan, and Private Securities Litigation Reform: A Line Must be Drawn, Lead Article, 40 Ariz. L. Rev. 1137.
  • Michael H. Dessent, Bathtub Conspiracies: A Doctrinal Cleansing is Needed, 9 San Diego L. Rev. 4.
  • Michael H. Dessent, Citizens' Board of Inquiry into Hunger and Malnutrition in the United States, 8 San Diego Law Rev. 180.
  • Michael H. Dessent, Trustees Power: The Power to Sell Includes the Power to Option, 7 San Diego L. Rev. 22.
  • Michael H. Dessent, The First Amendment and Financial Aid to Religion: Limits on the Government's Conduct, 61 Northwestern U. L. Rev. 777.