Maria O’Brien Hylton

Professor of Law

AB magna cum laude, Harvard University
JD, Yale University

Areas of Interest
Contracts, Employment Law, ERISA, Insurance Law
Contact
Biography

Noted labor and benefits law specialist Maria O’Brien Hylton began her teaching career at Boston University School of Law in 1988. She taught at De Paul University College of Law from 1989 until rejoining the Boston University faculty in 1995, and was a visiting professor at the University of Chicago Law School in 1993.

While in law school, Professor Hylton was editor of the Yale Law & Policy Review. After graduation, she served as a law clerk for Judge Gilbert S. Merritt of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and then as an associate at the Boston law firm of Hale and Dorr. She has numerous publications to her credit, most recently, “ERISA in the Larger EEO Context” for the Employment Rights and Employment Policy Journal. She also is the co-author of “Cases and Materials on Employee Benefits Law” and “Using Civil Remedies for Criminal Behavior: Rationale, Case Studies, and Constitutional Issues.” Her most recent lectures include “Arbitration in the New Millennium” at the annual meeting of the Industrial Relations Research Association (2000), “Notes on the Class Action Device at the End of the Century” at the annual meeting of the American Bar Association (1999) and “Microsoft and the Illusion of Lost Employer Control” at the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools (1999).

Professor Hylton teaches courses on labor issues, ERISA, employee benefits and insurance law. She has long been active in a number of professional organizations. She is a member of the American Law Institute (ALI) and an editor of the Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal.

Publications
  1. Maria Hylton, "Friedrichs and the Move Toward Private Ordering of Public Employee Wages and Benefits," 23 Connecticut Insurance Law Journal 177 (2016-17).
    Publisher | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  2. Maria Hylton & Jeanne Medeiros, "Recoupment of Pension Overpayments: Equitable Liens and Meaningful Reform After Montanile," 26 Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy 195 (2017).
    Publisher | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  3. Maria Hylton, "After Tackett: Incomplete Contracts for Post-Employment Healthcare," 36 Pace Law Review 317 (2016).
    SSRN | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  4. Maria Hylton, "The Case for Public Pension Reform: Early Evidence from Kentucky," 47 Creighton Law Review 585 (2014).
    SSRN | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline | Publisher
  5. Maria Hylton, "Central Falls Retirees v. Bondholders: Assessing Fear of Contagion in Chapter 9 Proceedings," 59 Wayne Law Review 525 (2013).
    SSRN
  6. Maria Hylton, "Disclosure to the Rescue: A Conceptual Framework for Retained Asset Accounts," 80 Tennessee Law Review 69 (2012-13).
    SSRN | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  7. Maria Hylton, "Combating Moral Hazard: The Case for Rationalizing Public Employee Benefits," 45 Indiana Law Review 413 (2011-12).
    SSRN
  8. Maria Hylton, "The Other Situation in New Jersey: The State of Public Pension and Retiree Health Plans and Prospects for Reform," Employee Benefits Committee Newsletter, ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law (Win 2011).
  9. Maria Hylton, "Post-Firestone Skirmishes: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Discretionary Clauses and Judicial Review of ERISA Plan Administrator Decisions," 2 William & Mary Policy Review 1 (2010).
    SSRN | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  10. Maria Hylton, "Together We Can: Imagining the Future of Employee Pension Plans," Employee Pensions: Policies, Problems & Possibilities, T. Ghilarducci & C. E. Weller, eds., ILR Press (2007), 12 Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal 383 (2009). Westlaw | Lexis Advance
  11. Maria Hylton, "Creeping Impoverization: Material Conditions, Income Inequality and ERISA Pedagogy Early in the 21st Century," 34 Fordham Urban Law Journal 1355 (2007).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  12. Maria Hylton, "Insecure Retirement Income, Wrongful Plan Administration and Other Employee Benefits Woes -- Evaluating ERISA at Age Thirty," 53 Buffalo Law Review 1193 (2005).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  13. Maria Hylton, "The Changing World of Employee Benefits," 79 Chicago Kent Law Review 625 (2004).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  14. Maria Hylton, "The Supreme Court's Labor and Employment Decisions: 2002-2003 Term," 19 The Labor Lawyer 247 (2003).
    Westlaw | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  15. Maria Hylton, "Foreword," in Symposium on Employee Benefits, 5 Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal 1 (2001).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance
  16. Maria Hylton, "Y2K ERISA Update: Key Issues and Trends Facing Employers and Plan Participants," 51 Labor Law Journal 96 (2000).
  17. Maria Hylton, "ERISA in the Larger EEO Context," 3 Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal 131 (1999). Proceedings of the 1999 Annual Meeting AALS Section on Employment Discrimination Law: Is There a Disconnect Between EEO Law and the Workplace?
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance
  18. Maria Hylton & Lorraine Schmall, Cases and Materials on Employee Benefits Law, West Group Publishing (1998).
  19. Maria Hylton, "Evaluating the Case for Social Security Reform: Elderly Poverty, Paternalism and Private Pensions," 64 Brooklyn Law Review 749 (1998).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  20. Maria Hylton, "Recent Developments in ERISA Law," 49 Labor Law Journal 1065 (1998).
  21. Maria Hylton, "Discussant's Notes," in Symposium Industrial Relations Research Association Annual Meeting, Proceedings of the Forty-Ninth Annual Meeting 226 (1997).
  22. Maria Hylton, "Some Preliminary Thoughts on the Deregulation of Insurance to Advantage the Working Poor," 24 Fordham Urban Law Journal 687 (1997).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  23. Maria Hylton, "Legal and Policy Implications of the Flexible Employment Relationship," 17 Journal of Labor Relations 589 (1996).
  24. Maria Hylton, "The Case Against Regulating the Market for Contingent Employment," 52 Washington & Lee Law Review 11 (1995).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  25. Maria Hylton, "Insurance Risk Classification After McGann: Managing Risk Efficiently in the Shadow of the ADA," 47 Baylor Law Review 59 (1995).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  26. Maria Hylton & P. Finn, Using Civil Remedies for Criminal Behavior: Rational, Case Studies and Constitutional Issues, National Institute of Justice (1994).
  27. Maria Hylton, "Working and Poor: The Increasingly Popular Practice of Excluding Disabled Employees from Health Care Coverage," 3 Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy 92 (1994).
    Westlaw | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  28. Maria Hylton, "The Economics and Politics of Emergency Health Care for the Poor: The Patient Dumping Dilemma," 1992 Brigham Young University Law Review 971 (1992).
    Westlaw | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  29. Maria Hylton, "Personal Narratives and Racial Distinctiveness in the Legal Academy," review of Patricia J. Williams, The Alchemy of Race and Rights, Harvard University Press (1992), 41 DePaul Law Review 1407 (1992).
  30. Maria Hylton, "Socially Responsible Investing in an Inefficient Market: Doing Good Versus Doing Well," 42 American University Law Review 1 (1992).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance
  31. Maria Hylton, "'Parental Leaves', and Poor Women: Paying the Price for Time Off," 52 University of Pittsburgh Law Review 475 (1991).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  32. Maria Hylton & Keith Hylton, "Rent Appropriation and the Labor Law Doctrine of Successorship," 70 Boston University Law Review 821 (1990).
    Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline | Westlaw
  33. Keith Hylton & Maria Hylton, "Rational Decisions and Regulation of Union Entry," 34 Villanova Law Review 145 (1989).
    HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline | Westlaw
Courses

4 credits

This course will use the case method to examine legal and equitable remedies for enforcing contracts, determining what promises are enforceable, elements of assent, standards of fairness and restrictions on bargaining process, and tests for performance and breach. Designed for students preparing to sit for the bar, this course will focus on those areas emphasized on the multi-state, New York, and Massachusetts bar exams. GRADING NOTICE: This class will not offer the CR/NC/H option.

FALL 2016: LAW JD 812 A1 , Sep 7th to Dec 7th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Mon,Wed 10:40 am 12:40 pm 4 Maria O’Brien Hylton LAW 605
FALL 2017: LAW JD 812 A1 , Sep 5th to Dec 7th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue,Thu 10:40 am 12:40 pm 4 Stephen M. Donweber LAW 414

3 credits

This course will provide a comprehensive overview of the legal regulation of employment in the U.S. We will study the at-will default rule (and many of its modifications) as well as tort protections for employees, speech and privacy protections, and workplace disputes about property rights (specifically trade secrets and non-compete agreements). We will also review the basic requirements of wage and hour law and workplace safety regulations. Finally, we evaluate the efficacy of workplace misconduct investigations, layoff management and employment practices liability coverage. There are no prerequisites for this course and students may opt to write a 30 page research paper in lieu of a 3 hour final examination if they wish.

SPRG 2017: LAW JD 834 A1 , Jan 17th to Apr 25th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue,Thu 10:40 am 12:40 pm 3 Maria O’Brien Hylton LAW 413
FALL 2017: LAW JD 834 A1 , Sep 6th to Dec 6th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Mon,Wed 2:10 pm 3:40 pm 3 Maria O’Brien Hylton LAW 413

3 credits

The presence or absence of insurance is in many instances the single most important determinant of whether and how a tort or contracts action is litigated. This course focuses on both individual and commercial forms of insurance coverage. Students are introduced to the key insurance concepts of risk management, including the transfer, pooling and allocation of covered risks. Problems of contract interpretation, imperfect information, adverse selection and discrimination will be treated at length. Additionally, the class will take up issues particular to property, life, health, disability, liability and auto insurance. Finally, some time will be devoted to the state regulatory regimes designed to ensure solvency and profitability, and to the secondary market (i.e. reinsurance, and surplus and excess lines). A final exam is required.

SPRG 2018: LAW JD 850 A1 , Jan 16th to Apr 24th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue,Thu 10:40 am 12:05 pm 3 Maria O’Brien Hylton

3 credits

This course offers an approach to the lawyer's responsibilities to clients, the profession, and the public. Topics addressed will be problems of disclosure, conflict of interest, advertising, adversary tactics, competence, attorney fees, and fiduciary duties. NOTE: This course satisfies the upper-class Professional Responsibility requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option.

FALL 2016: LAW JD 984 A1 , Sep 7th to Dec 7th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Mon,Wed 2:15 pm 3:40 pm 3 Stephen M. Donweber LAW 103
FALL 2016: LAW JD 984 H1 , Sep 6th to Dec 8th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue,Thu 10:40 am 12:05 pm 3 Maria O’Brien Hylton LAW 209
SPRG 2017: LAW JD 984 P1 , Jan 17th to Apr 25th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue,Thu 10:45 am 12:10 pm 3 Mark Pettit LAW 414
FALL 2017: LAW JD 984 A1 , Sep 6th to Dec 6th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Mon,Wed 2:15 pm 3:40 pm 3 Stephen M. Donweber LAW 103
SPRG 2018: LAW JD 984 M1 , Jan 17th to Apr 25th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Mon,Wed 2:30 pm 3:55 pm 3 Nancy J. Moore
SPRG 2018: LAW JD 984 P1 , Jan 16th to Apr 24th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue,Thu 10:45 am 12:10 pm 3 Mark Pettit
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