Returning to the Moon: A Legal Symposium

Friday, March 6, 2020 - 8:30am - 5:00pm
Location: 1801 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44115 (Moot Court Room)

On March 6, 2020, CSU Cleveland-Marshall College of Law hosted a day-long symposium Returning to the Moon: Legal Challenges as Humanity Begins to Settle the Solar System. The symposium collected some of the leading figures in the field of space law from academic, industry, government, and non-governmental organizations. The community turnout was tremendous and the discussions tackled some of the most fascinating issues facing the world as we return to the Moon.

A transcript of the symposium will be published in the Global Business Law Review.  The videos of the entire symposium is available through the following links.

Download the complete symposium program.

We give our heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in the symposium and, in particular, to our generous sponsors, SpaceX and the Open Lunar Foundation. We look forward to our next symposium!


View Symposium Videos:

Space Law Symposium - Part 1

Space Law Symposium - Part 2

Space Law Symposium - Part 3

Space Law Symposium - Part 4

Space Law Symposium - Part 5






Prof. Dr. Steven Freeland,  Professor of International Law, Western Sydney University (Australia)

Steven Freeland is Professor of International Law at Western Sydney University, Australia where he specializes in International Criminal Law, Commercial Aspects of Space Law, Public International Law and Human Rights Law. He was Dean of the School of Law at Western Sydney University from 2017-2019. He is also Visiting Professor at the University of Vienna; Permanent Visiting Professor at the iCourts Centre of Excellence for International Courts, University of Copenhagen; Adunct Professor at the University of Hong Kong; Member of Faculty at the London Institute of Space Policy and Law; Visiting Professor at Université Toulouse1 Capitole; Adjunct Professor at University of Adelaide; Associate Member at the Centre for Research in Air and Space Law, McGill University; and a former Marie Curie Fellow (2013-2014). He has been an expert assessor for Government Research Councils in Australia, Canada, The Netherlands, South Africa, Hong Kong, and has taught at Universities in over 20 countries.


Michelle Hanlon, Associate Director, National Center for Air and Space Law, University of Mississippi and President, For All Moonkind, Inc.

Michelle Hanlon is an Associate Director of the National Center for Air and Space Law and an instructor of aviation and space law. Michelle received her B.A. in Political Science from Yale College and her J.D. magna cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center. She earned her LL.M in Air and Space Law from McGill University where the focus of her research was commercial space and the intersection of commerce and public law. Prior to focusing on space law, Michelle was engaged in a private business law practice. Her legal career commenced with the restructuring of sovereign debt for a number of South and Latin American countries and evolved into the negotiation and implementation of cross-border technology mergers and acquisitions. Her subsequent solo practice advised entrepreneurs across four continents on all aspects of bringing their innovative ideas to market: from basic corporate formation to financings and buyouts. Michelle is a Co-Founder and the President of For All Moonkind, Inc., a nonprofit corporation that is the only organization in the world focused on protecting human cultural heritage in outer space. For All Moonkind has been recognized by the United Nations as a Permanent Observer to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Michelle also serves as Mentor for the Creative Destruction Lab, a startup incubator program developed by the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.


Dr. Diane Howard, Department of Commerce, Office of Space Commercialization

Dr. Diane Howard is Chief Counsel for Space Commerce at the U.S. Department of Commerce. In addition to providing space law expertise to the Office of Space Commerce (OSC) and the Department of Commerce as a whole, she also participates in interagency work and is actively involved in the Office of Space Commerce’s implementation of Space Policy Directive-3.

In addition, Diane is a non-resident scholar at UT Austin’s Strauss Center for International and Security Studies and an adjunct professor in its School of Law. She is helping to develop Strauss Center’s Space Security and Safety program, a trans-disciplinary program offering opportunities to work on solutions to challenges to the space environment through a combination of law, policy, engineering, and science curricula. Prior to joining UT Austin, Dr. Howard was one of the original architects of a similar multi-disciplinary program at the undergraduate level in Daytona Beach, FL at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Diane participates in numerous legal projects, both domestically (within the U.S.) and internationally. Dr. Howard was chair of the annual Space Traffic Management (STM) conference while at Embry-Riddle, ongoing since 2013 and hosted at UT Austin in 2019 and has been active in the STM community since 2011. She serves as Executive Secretary of the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) and has worked with COMSTAC Working Groups. The U.S. Department of State named her a subject matter expert to work in an Expert Group of the UN COPUOS STSC Long Term Sustainability of Space Activities Working Group. Dr. Howard was legal lead for the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety Suborbital Safety (IAASS) Technical Committee.


James W. “Jay” Jackson, NASA Glenn, Office of the General Counsel

James Jackson is the deputy general counsel for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's John H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. He is responsible for the Office of Chief Counsel’s management and strategy, as well as providing legal advice and counsel to senior executives and top-level managers at Glenn. In this role, Jackson is a member of the Glenn and NASA Headquarters Office of General Counsel leadership teams.

Prior to this position, Jackson was lead counsel for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C.  Prior to moving to Washington, Jackson served as an attorney advisor working with clients at Glenn and throughout the agency in the areas of contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, commercial partnerships, intellectual property, ethics and personnel law.  

Before joining NASA in 2015, Jackson was an associate attorney with Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease LLP in the commercial real estate and finance practice group. He also has experience as a marketing manager for a large consumer electronics company responsible for the strategy and sales growth of an expansive multi-state territory.


Christopher Johnson, Secure World Foundation, Space Law Advisor

Chris Johnson is the Space Law Advisor for Secure World Foundation and has nine years of professional experience in international space law and policy. He has authored and co-authored publications on international space law, national space legislation, international cooperation in space, human-robotic cooperative space exploration, and on the societal benefits of space technology for Africa.

Prior to joining SWF, Mr. Johnson worked as an attorney in New York City and entered the space field in 2010 as an intern at the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) in Vienna, Austria during the 53rd Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. He has also served as an intern in the Office of International and Interagency Relations (OIIR) at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC, and as a legal stagiaire in the International Law and EU Legal Affairs division at the European Space Agency’s Legal Department at ESA Headquarters in Paris, France.

Mr. Johnson serves as a Professor of Law (Adjunct) at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington D.C., where he co-teaches the spring Space Law Seminar. He is also Adjunct Faculty at the International Space University (ISU) in Strasbourg, France, the Legal Advisor for the Moon Village Association (MVA); and a Core Expert and Rule Drafter in the Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Activities in Outer Space (MILAMOS) project.

He has written two blog posts that will be of particular interest to symposium attendees:


Justine M. Kasznica, Babst Calland

Justine Kasznica is a shareholder in the Firm’s Mobility, Transport and Safety, Transportation Safety, Corporate and Commercial and Energy and Natural Resources groups. Ms. Kasznica is a technology and commercial transactions attorney who represents technology companies, investor groups, universities and research institutions seeking to commercialize new technologies.

Ms. Kasznica specializes in supporting the legal and regulatory needs of clients in the autonomous mobility industries, and represents AV technology, last mile logistic and warehouse/logistics robotics, commercial space and drone (unmanned aircraft systems – UAS), and she also advises universities, research centers and large commercial institutions with respect to the development and deployment of autonomous mobility technologies and the industry impacts of such technologies. In this role, she regularly participates in speaking engagements and leads workshops on legal and regulatory topics related to AV, UAS and commercial space, as well as robot-as-a-service (RaaS) and mobility-as-a-service (Maas) business models and serves as an advisor to various UAS and space technology companies and projects.


Steven A. Mirmina, NASA, International Law Department

Steven Mirmina has worked as an attorney at NASA since 1999 in the International Law division of the Office of the General Counsel. Professor Mirmina has helped negotiate and conclude more than one thousand international agreements for missions across all NASA Mission Directorates, including activities ranging from human space flight and Mars exploration, to Earth science missions and aeronautics research.

From 2008 through 2009, Professor Mirmina served as Lead Counsel for NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate, which oversees various NASA programs, including the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station, and the Astronaut corps. Additionally, Professor Mirmina is also the lead attorney for NASA’s telecommunications issues, including use of radiofrequency spectrum, the Deep Space Network, and the TDRSS satellite system.

Professor Mirmina has spoken widely and authored numerous articles in the fields of international air and space law. He has received awards from both NASA and the White House for exceptional and distinguished service to the government. Professor Mirmina is licensed to practice law in Washington, D.C., and he is a member of Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.


Dennis O’Brien, Moon Village Association

Dennis O’Brien is a lawyer and founder/president of The Space Treaty Project.  Mr. O’Brien has authored a number of articles and op-eds on the legal issues related to the return to the Moon. He is also a member of the Moon Village Association where he has spearheaded issues related to the registration of property interests.


Dr. Giuseppe Reibaldi, Founder, Moon Village Association       

Dr. Giuseppe Reibaldi is the founder and president of the Moon Village Association. He also acted as the Executive Secretary of the Hague Space Resources Governance Working Group which recently concluded its ground-breaking work creating principles for the peaceful and orderly extraction of natural resources on celestial bodies. Moreover, he is, since 2013, the Director of Human Spaceflight at the International Academy of Astronautics. For 35 years (1977-2012) he worked for the European Space Agency covering different functions and fields. Reibaldi has introduced Space Policy in the Italian Universities in the 90s and he teaches in Turin for the 2017/2018 academic year. He is the author of more than 80 publications, as well a book about the International Space Station Utilization, translated in Italian, English and Greek.

Dr. John M. Sankovic, President, Ohio Aerospace Institute   

Dr. John Sankovic comes to OAI following a distinguished 31-year career at NASA, where he most recently served as center chief technologist and director of the Office of Technology Incubation and Innovation. There, he received numerous awards, including the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, six Agency Honor Group Achievement Awards and an R&D100 technology innovation award.

OAI is a joint initiative of the NASA Glenn Research Center, the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the State of Ohio, ten Ohio public and private universities granting doctoral degrees in aerospace-related engineering disciplines, and numerous companies engaged in aerospace activities.                                                      


Caryn Schenewerk, Space Exploration Technologies Corp (spacex), Senior Counsel and Senior Director of Spaceflight Policy

Caryn Schenewerk is Senior Counsel at Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) where she works mainly on commercial and civil space launch legal and policy matters. Professor Schenewerk supports SpaceX’s FAA launch and FCC spectrum licensing efforts, Falcon and Dragon marine recovery teams, and NASA Authorization and Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act efforts on Capitol Hill. She has also worked on SpaceX’s NASA contracts for commercial crew and cargo carriage to the International Space Station. She has represented the Commercial Spaceflight Federation as part of the US delegation to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Prior to joining SpaceX, Ms. Schenewerk served as Deputy Associate Director for Legislative Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget in the Executive Office of the President.


Jessy Kate Schingler, Open Lunar Foundation

Jessy Kate Shingler is the creative and cross-disciplinary force behind multiple groundbreaking Silicon Valley ventures.  Most recently, she helped to found the Open Lunar Foundation. Its mission? To create a permanent, economically self-sustaining presence on the Moon. Ms. Shingler currently serves as the Director of Policy and Governance at Open Lunar.




Mark J. Sundahl, Director, Global Space Law Center, Cleveland State University

Professor Mark Sundahl serves as Director of the Global Law Space Center. He has since written extensively and spoken around the world on cutting-edge space law issues. In 2018, he was appointed to the NASA Advisory Council Regulatory and Policy Committee. Sundahl has been involved in many domestic and international initiatives in the field of space law, including the ongoing work of The Hague Working Group on the Governance of Space Resources and the ICAO/UNOOSA Space Learning Group. He has advised the FAA/AST as the Chair of the International Space Policy Working Group of the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) and has also served as a member of the U.S. Delegation to the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. He is also a member of the Board of Editors of Air & Space Law and has served as the Assistant Executive Secretary of the International Institute of Space Law.


Wayne White, Whitcomb, Selinsky PC

Wayne White, Senior Attorney at Whitcomb, Selinsky PC, is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and the Air Force Reserves.  He has over 30 years of experience in law and government contracts.  Mr. White served in the University of California General Counsel’s Office, representing the University in publicly-bid construction contract matters.  HeMr. White then moved to Oceaneering Space Systems in Houston, Texas, as Manager of the Contracts and Purchasing Department.  In this position, he handled a wide variety of NASA, military, and commercial contract and subcontract matters, and served as the Division export compliance representative.  Mr. White was also a key member of Oceaneering’s proposal team for the NASA Constellation Space Suit Systems prime contract.  Mr. White has written extensively on the problem of property rights on celestial bodies.


Jon P. Yormick, Phillips Lytle LLP

Jon Yormick is an experienced international business and trade attorney, practicing for more than 25 years. In his customs and international trade practice, Mr. Yormick represents U.S. and non-U.S. companies before the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the U.S. Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), the U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) on import and export laws and regulations, including the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). He has represented clients in aerospace and defense; electronics; energy; optics, photonics and imaging (OPI); and transportation/logistics sectors.

Registration Information

  • 6 hours of CLE credit: $100 Full day registration fee
  • 3 hour morning CLE program: $60 registration fee & 3 hour afternoon CLE program: $60 registration fee
  • Noncredit seeking attendees: FREE

PLEASE NOTE: Pre-registration is required and ends Thursday, March 5.  We are unable to process same-day registration for those seeking CLE credit and money will not be accepted at the door.  We can only accommodate noncredit attendee walk-ins on the day of the symposium.  

Register Here


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CLE credit: 6 hours

Category: CLE Programs, Faculty, General

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