Dec.. 31-Jan. 7

 An outpouring of international interest has demonstrated the significance of climate change sovereignty issues posed by the Marshall Islands, said the New York-based organizer of a global conference scheduled for next May. “A year ago, RMI Ambassador Phillip Muller approached me about a raft of legal questions no one had confronted before,” said Professor Michael Gerrard, the Director of Columbia Law School’s Center for Climate Change Law.
THE HILL (On the Money blog)—Jan. 4
While the jump represented the highest total since 2005, the rate at which filings increased happened at a slower pace than during the previous three years when annual increases exceeded 30 percent, according to Ronald Mann, a Columbia Law School professor, who provides monthly and yearly reports for the National Bankruptcy Research Center. "There is good reason to think the worst might be over," Mann said. 
Similar articles appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Market Financial.
“These are rules of unprecedented scope,” said Robert Jackson, a former Treasury lawyer who helped implement them and now teaches at Columbia University School of Law. “In their efforts to comply, companies have sometimes made mistakes.”
This article also appeared in The Washington Post.
Suzanne Goldberg, a Columbia Law School professor and director of the school’s Center for Gender & Sexuality Law, said the women do not necessarily need to prove they were full-time employees to win their case. “Even if they were not full-time employees, they were hired by the Jets to do a job, and the law prohibits employers from sexually harassing who they hire,” she said.
“These are people who have made efforts to avoid estate taxes for nearly a century,” said Columbia University law professor Michael Graetz. His 2006 book, “Death by a Thousand Cuts: The Fight Over Taxing Inherited Wealth” chronicles efforts to abolish the estate tax that resulted in a one-year hiatus of the levy for 2010.
John C. Coffee, a Professor of Law at New York's Columbia University, believes it can be significantly more expensive to raise capital in Britain, where light touch regulation has gone too far, than in the US where the rules of the market are far more strict. Let me put it another way: If a firm opts for a dual-listing in the UK and US, Coffee believes that the reassurance provided by an American stock market quote will add around 37% to the value of the company compared to what it would have been if the owners decided merely to list in London.
The SEC might also be interested to know how information gained by these affluent early investors may put them at an advantage over the unwashed masses who will buy the stock once the company goes public. “You are talking about a very uneven flow of information between people who are doing the selling and people who are doing the buying,” says John Coffee, a professor at Columbia Law School. “These are opaque companies that are being traded, and sooner or later there is going to be a problem.”
A similar article appeared in The Wall Street Journal.
“The panel will have to sample from among the 76 precincts, and thousands of crime complaints within each. That is a daunting task in so short a time,” said Prof. Jeffrey A. Fagan of Columbia Law School, who conducted a study on the department’s stop-question-and-frisk practices on behalf of a group that is suing the department.

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Jan. 7-21

Jamal Greene: Many Tea Partiers hope that reading the Constitution will make clear that the framers shared their vision of limited government, robust gun rights and purple mountains dotted with miniature American flags. They will be disappointed.
AFP—Jan. 10
"At this point, it is clear that Guantanamo will not be closed during this presidential term, or maybe even the next one, despite administration claims that it remains committed to the goal," Columbia University professor Matthew Waxman, told AFP.
Otherwise, said analysts and academics, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and its work are largely a missed opportunity that may have been doomed from the outset. "Whatever it says, it is likely to be too little and too late. The timing was wrong from the start," said Columbia Law School Professor John Coffee.
“The panel will have to sample from among the 76 precincts, and thousands of crime complaints within each. That is a daunting task in so short a time,” said Prof. Jeffrey A. Fagan of Columbia Law School, who conducted a study on the department’s stop-question-and-frisk practices on behalf of a group that is suing the department.
John Coffee, a securities law professor at Columbia University, said the SEC should have acted more strongly. "They didn't move forcefully to change the overall marketing of this overly risky security," Coffee said.
Mediation can help mitigate the costs -- both emotional and financial -- of medical liability lawsuits, according to a recent study. But without participation from physicians -- not just their lawyers -- other quality improvement benefits that can come from the litigation alternative get lost. "It seems pretty clear from the data that there is an economic case ... to support the notion mediation is a more efficient, cost-effective process," said Carol B. Liebman, a professor at Columbia Law School in New York.
It is unlikely that Mr. Obama’s comments will have much of an effect at trial, said John C. Coffee Jr., a professor at Columbia’s law school. “I am not certain that the president’s statement is even admissible,” he said. And even if the defense is able to introduce it, “it is not irrefutable evidence, and it does not ‘estop’ the government” — meaning to preclude the government from offering evidence to the contrary.
John Coffee Jr., a professor at Columbia University Law School and director of its Center on Corporate Governance, said Facebook and Goldman ''gave investors a 100-page memorandum, which they're not obligated to do."
The National Bankruptcy Center data was accumulated by Prof. Ronald Mann, from the Columbia Law School, and released on Jan. 4. He estimates that about one out of every 150 U.S. adults has entered into bankruptcy. Mann also says that the bottom half of the country is taking the biggest financial beating, bankruptcy-wise. “Through the course of 2010, the filing rates have become increasingly disparate throughout the country, Mann writes in his report.
Four Georgia counties, including three in metro Atlanta, were among the top 10 for bankruptcy filings in December, Columbia Law School Professor Ronald Mann. The figures, compiled for the National Bankruptcy Research Center, found Henry County, Ga., had the second-most filings with 1,786 per million.
“The best reading of the statute on its face is it doesn’t apply to people like PayPal,” said Ronald Mann, a law professor at Columbia University in New York, whose specialties include payment systems and electronic commerce. “Could the Federal Reserve interpret that to mean something different? Yeah, they could.”
John Coffee: In Matrixx Initiatives Inc. v. Siracusano, the corporate issuer raised the defense that information about possible adverse side effects from a drug that it produced should not be deemed material unless there was a statistically significant relationship between the drug's use and the side effect. There are numerous problems with such a standard, but, as it turned out, the devil was in the details.

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Jan. 21-28

"It's an extremely difficult thing to do politically, operationally, diplomatically, legally. It's a very very complex policy we tried to reorient," said Matthew Waxman, a professor at Columbia Law School who served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs in the George W. Bush administration. "There was something of a mismatch between the declaration and the offer to close Guantanamo and the true political priorities of this administration," he added. "Other agenda items including the economy are likely to continue to occupy the president's time."
AFP—Jan. 23
In this area, the “floodgates have opened," said Michael Gerrard, director of the recently opened Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, who contributed to the Deutsche Bank report. In the United States, many cases seek clarification on the right of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The legal fog is especially thick when it comes to so-called nuisance suits, which seek to determine blame, and thus open the way to damages. "There are billions of potential plaintiffs and millions of potential defendants," said Gerrard. "The biggest problem, though, is causation."
While the number of filings nationwide rose 9 percent last year to more than 1.5 million, "the increase was much more modest than the 30 percent increases each of the previous three years," said Ronald Mann, a professor at Columbia Law School in New York, in a report for the National Bankruptcy Research Center and distributed by the American Bankruptcy Institute. "Thus, there is good reason to think that we are past the rapid increase in filings we have seen since 2006," Mann wrote.
A recent article in the military newspaper Stars and Stripes points out how—in the implementation of the new policy—our Services could take a look at how our allies managed the transition when they enacted similar policies. The author, Suzanne B. Goldberg, a clinical professor of law and director of Columbia Law School’s Gender & Sexuality Law Center, writes how some of our allies, including the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, did it.
At Columbia, a New Joint Venture (subscription required)
Richard Richman is looking to break the academic barriers between law and business. The real-estate developer will on Monday announce a $10 million gift to Columbia University to create the Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law, and Public Policy, an interdisciplinary academic center run jointly by Columbia's law and business schools.
Similar articles appeared in The National Law Journal, the Columbia Spectator, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Elections officials and the Supreme Court are in the unenviable position of needing a final ruling fast so that those voting early know who is eligible to be mayor. And they can do so, said Abbe Gluck, a state government expert at Columbia Law School.
"They're nimble," Gluck said. "State courts are experts at dealing with election-related controversies."
RISK MAGAZINE—Jan. 26 (Subscription Required)
Fed Moves More toward Rules-Based Approach for Bonuses
“The Fed has long said it prefers a principles-based approach to compensation regulation – but that was prior to the passage of Dodd-Frank, which instructed banking regulators to do more on this issue even after the Fed had issued its guidance,” notes Robert Jackson, the New York-based associate professor of law at Columbia Law School, and a former adviser on executive compensation and corporate governance to the US Treasury.
HENRY DAILY HERALD (Georgia)—Jan. 26
Henry has posted high bankruptcy totals for each month since July 2010, according to Professor Ronald Mann, who is coordinating the project. The study, he said, tracks the number of bankruptcies filed per million homes, in every county across the country. “Henry County has been in the top 10 every month,” Mann said. “No other county has been in the top 10 every month.”
The policy applies to the city's white collar employees and members of the Service Employees International Union. The police and fire unions are reviewing a memorandum of understanding that extends the benefits to those members. Allentown's ordinance was written by students at Columbia Law School's Sexuality & Gender Law Clinic.

Rajaratnam’s Jury Should Hear About Compensation, U.S. Says
“The wealth of a defendant can cut both ways,” said Daniel Richman, a law professor at Columbia University in New York and a former federal prosecutor. It’s common for defense lawyers to argue “this person is so wealthy there is no reason for him to have cut corners on this particular matter.”

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