Over the last 30 years, there has been declining scholarly interest in the study of co-operative law. In this year’s Fredeen lecture, the recipient of the 2021 Hartley and Margaret Fredeen Scholarship in Co-operative Studies, Bill Oemichen - an experienced cooperative attorney in both Canada and the United States, will present some of his early research comparing recent efforts to modernize co-operative acts in Western Canada with existing legal provisions in the American Upper Midwest, an area known for its large and growing co-operative sector. The discussion will range widely, discussing how trends in co-operative law are shaping the evolution of the cooperative business model but also calling out possible future directions for legal scholars interested in the model.
Bill Oemichen is a PhD candidate at the Johnson-Shoyama School of Public Policy. Oemichen is a member of the Law Society of Alberta, a partner in Community and Co-operative Counsel based in Calgary, and serves on the board of several co-operatives, including the education and insurance arm of the $440 Billion American Farm Credit System. Bill previously practiced co-operative law at a major Midwestern law firm in the United States.