November 1-15

REUTERS  – November 4
Insight: MF Board Seen Beholden to Corzine as Risk Grew
"Many governance experts will call for having an investor on the board, but when you have separate third party relationships like this one, that's a different story," says Robert Jackson, governance expert at Columbia Law School and a former advisor to the U.S. Treasury.

For Columbia Instructor, Teaching About Genocide Is Personal
Menachem Z. Rosensaft showed that 1945 film clip to his class on the law of genocide, at Columbia Law School, but to him, the woman in flickering black-and-white was no distant witness to history. She is his mother.

MF Global Probe Expands
"The facts are not yet clear," said Daniel Richman, a Columbia University law professor. "Negligence or carelessness, however troubling they might be to those who may have had their money misplaced, are not grounds for criminal intervention."

WNYC – November 5
Occupy Wall Street’s Message Doesn’t Resonate with All of the 99%
Occupy Wall Street protesters may have just discovered societal inequities they rail against, but they’ve been everyday occurrences in minority communities for decades. Columbia University Professor Ted Shaw, a former chief of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, said, “The kind of unemployment rates that now the entire country is facing have been commonplace in the black community so in many respects people have become inoculated to it in black and brown communities.”

THE STAR-LEDGER – November 6
Even if Corzine Avoids Charges, the Financial Toll Is Likely to be Steep, Experts Predict
John Coffee, professor of law at Columbia University and an expert on securities industry regulation, said it is still too early to forecast civil charges. "What is clearest is private civil liability," he said.

THE STAR-LEDGER – November 6
‘Blind Goddess: A Reader on Race and Justice:’ A Book Review
In her foreword to this collection of writings by experts in and observers of our criminal justice system, Columbia Law School professor Patricia J. Williams notes there are more African Americans incarcerated today than were enslaved before the Civil War.

BLOOMBERG – November 7
Perry’s Plan to Halt Energy Breaks Favors Oil, Gas Producers
Many of the breaks for oil and gas production were enacted years ago when there was less concern about the federal budget deficit and changes to the tax code often were permanent, said Michael Graetz, a tax law professor at Columbia University in New York. Removing such breaks would be difficult because of the number of states with oil, gas or coal production, and the lobbying effort to retain such subsidies, Graetz said.

FORTUNE – November 7
Uncle Sam’s New Crusade Against Banks
As if the banks didn't have enough problems. Uncle Sam is now suing 18 of the country's largest banks for selling $200 billion in toxic mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Columbia Law School professor Jack Coffee termed the action "the most aggressive attempt by federal authorities to litigate financial claims since the S&L crisis of the 1980s."

Supreme Court Skeptical in Israel Passport Case
"The court seemed poised to ... rule that the statute unconstitutionally infringes on the president's power to recognize, or decline to recognize, that any state exercises sovereignty over Jerusalem," said Columbia Law School Professor Sarah Cleveland, a former State Department lawyer who attended the oral arguments.

THE NATION – November 7
Is the Perfect Factory Possible?
“Surveys consistently show that 80 percent of consumers would be willing to pay a little more for a no-sweat product,” says Mark Barenberg, a Columbia University law professor and an expert on global labor conditions. “The problem is that they haven’t had reliable information that there are factories that meet those standards. Alta Gracia is a game changer in that respect.”

This article was also featured on Yahoo! News.

Former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo’s Resentencing Shines Spotlight on Judge
Dan Richman, a law professor at Columbia University and a former federal prosecutor, said the guidelines were only that - guidelines. "If you look at white-collar sentencing across the country - corruption, securities cases - a lot of it adheres to the guidelines," Richman said. "But you will also regularly see judges do all sorts of things, going up or down."
THE STREET – November 7
JPMorgan Lawsuit Tally: 10,000 and Counting
The massive number of cases is "the natural byproduct of the continuing consolidation of the banking industry," according to Columbia University securities law professor John Coffee.
Yale Approves J.D./M.B.A. Program
But David Schizer GRD ’90 LAW ’93, Dean of Columbia Law School, which began offering a six-semester J.D./M.B.A. program this fall, said it is unusual for students to pursue academic careers immediately after graduation.
Fortune Finance – November 8
Uncle Sam’s New Crusade Against Banks

As if the banks didn't have enough problems. Uncle Sam is now suing 18 of the country's largest banks for selling $200 billion in toxic mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Columbia Law School professor Jack Coffee termed the action "the most aggressive attempt by federal authorities to litigate financial claims since the S&L crisis of the 1980s."
BLOOMBERG – November 9
Fossil Subsidies Dwarf Aid to Renewables

Perry’s approach may hurt renewable energy more than fossil fuel producers that have $4 billion of annual subsidies written into the tax code. Aid for oil and coal producers would require congressional action to change while aid for wind and solar power will simply expire, according to Michael Graetz, a tax law professor at Columbia University in New York.
CNN – November 9
High Court Looks at Passports and Presidential Power

"There have been 50,000 Americans in the last 10 years that were born in Jerusalem, and many of them would like to have Israel indicated as their place of birth in the passports," said Sarah Cleveland, a Columbia University Law School professor, and until recently a counselor on international law at the State Department. "But this is also an extremely important geopolitical issue and a very sensitive foreign relations issue for the United States."
Coalition Seeks Disclosure Rules for Corporate Political Contributions

The coalition supports a rulemaking petition submitted August 3 by the Committee on Disclosure of Corporate Political Spending, a group of 10 prominent law professors specializing in corporate and securities law. That group includes such noted legal scholars as John Coffee, Jr., of Columbia University; Henry Hansmann of Yale University; and Donald Langevoort of Georgetown University.
Ernst Wins Lawsuit Venue

John Coffee, a securities-law professor at Columbia University, said Ernst may see federal court as a more favorable venue.
The Science of a Settlement

"I wouldn't say it's more art than science," said Daniel Richman, a law professor at Columbia University.
GOOD BUSINESS (online) – November 11
The Economics of Integrity

Before joining Columbia Law School as an Associate Professor of Law in 2010, Robert J. Jackson was an advisor to the Department of Treasury and the “Compensation Czar” Kenneth Feinberg in the Office of the Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation. Professor Jackson speaks about capitalism in post-2008 America, Wall Street finance, ethical issues on compensating success and failure, Occupy Wall Street, corporate transparency, and how to bridge the gap between Wall Street and Main Street.
THE FORWARD – November 11
Riding Together on Sex-Segregated Bus

“Even if they don’t enforce it strictly, if you get onto the bus and have to deal with the question of whether or not you get to sit with men or women… I think it raises some questions,” said Theodore Shaw, a Columbia Law School professor and former director-counsel and president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “If they were challenged [in court], I doubt they could prevail. I think they would have to stop the practice.”
LinkedIn, Others Show Why Transparency is Needed

"Lots of companies with fairly substantial market capitalizations would avoid the transparency of being reporting companies," said John Coffee, a law professor at Columbia University.
Before Solyndra, a Long History of Failed Government Energy Projects

But others argue that the history of government attempts to reach for the holy grail of new energy technology — a history that features both political parties — is not inspiring. “We’re making very large bets, and the decisions seem to be more grounded in politics and geography than in engineering and science,” said Michael Graetz, a professor at Columbia Law School and the author of “The End of Energy.”
WNYC – November 11
With Accounts Still Frozen, MF Global Clients Look for Answers

But John Coffee, a professor of securities law at Columbia Law School, cautions that it is too soon to anticipate a government suit to recover customer funds.
THE ECONOMIST – November 12
State Capitalism in China: Of Emperors and Kings

Yet Curtis Milhaupt of Columbia Law School insists that such reforms are “not where the action is”. In a new paper, he examines how exactly China’s big state firms are controlled, and reaches troubling conclusions.

A Market Less Efficient

“The IPO is no longer performing its classic function of channelling capital to small start-up companies because of its high costs and the insistence of institutions on high liquidity,” says Professor John Coffee of Columbia University Law School. “There is a need to design alternative capital raising mechanisms for the smaller company that does not have the prospective capitalisation of a Facebook.”

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November 11: The Delaware Court of Chancery Conference


The Delaware Court of Chancery: Change and Continuity Conference


THE NEWS JOURNAL – November 14
Chancery Court Praised at NYC Meeting

But on Friday, Columbia Law Professor John C. Coffee Jr. declared what he hoped was an armistice with Delaware -- on Veterans Day -- by hosting what amounted to a day-long celebration of the Delaware Court of Chancery's prestige and pre-eminence in corporation law, titled "Change and Continuity."
Strine to M&A Bar: Don’t Stop Believing…. in Delaware

You'd need a powerful calculator to tally the legal revenue that went unbilled thanks to Friday's daylong conference on the role of the Delaware Chancery Court at Columbia Law School. More than 200 leading securities litigators from both sides of the v. were in attendance to see all of the sitting Chancery Court judges pay tribute to recently retired Chancellor William Chandler III and to hear academics and practitioners discuss Delaware's future as the leading arbiter of corporate law.
Delaware Chancery Court Hears Cheers and Critiques at Columbia

The meeting had a deep back-story. In 1974, Columbia professor and vocal chancery critic William Cary said that the state court, established in 1792, was promoting a jurisprudential "race to the bottom." So, standing at a lecture hall podium in Jerome Greene Hall, before the court and an array of plaintiffs' and defense attorneys, Columbia professor and event emcee John Coffee pronounced 11/11/11 "the ultimate armistice day"—a day to "build bridges" between the bar and academia, and "to declare the end to a cold war."
THE DEAL – November 28
The Dramatic Increase in M&A Litigation

At 22 years, William B. Chandler III had the second-longest tenure of any judge to serve on Delaware's Court of Chancery since the 1850s. But the lawyers and judges who gathered to honor him with a conference at Columbia Law School on November 11 spent relatively little time discussing his accomplishments. Instead, the focus was on the dramatic rise in M&A litigation brought by shareholders and, more recently, in the number of deals where plaintiffs file suits in more than one jurisdiction.


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November 16-30


THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (blog) – November 18
SEC Forum Considers Obstacles to Small Business Capital Formation
While there was plenty of support for that viewpoint at the SEC forum, panelist John Coffee Jr., a Columbia University law professor, suggested that there was nothing inherently wrong with entrepreneurs favoring private markets and that regulators should help them raise capital by the most-efficient, low-cost methods consistent with investor protection.

USA TODAY – November 19
Boeheim is all in With Defense of Fine
"The case is likely to face difficulty whether a civil lawsuit or criminal charges are brought because the time for filing a lawsuit or prosecuting a crime appears to have passed," said Suzanne Goldberg, a Columbia University law professor and director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law.

BUSINESSWEEK – November 21
Greenberg’s Starr Sues U.S. for $25 Billion on AIG Bailout

Thomas Merrill, a professor at Columbia Law School who specializes in property and constitutional law, said if the court finds for Starr, the case could resemble the U.S. Supreme Court decision on President Harry Truman’s seizure of steel mills during the Korean War. The high court in 1952 found the taking to be unconstitutional.

Occupy Wall Street’s Message for Lawyers

By Katherine Franke
A scruffy-looking Occupy Wall Street protester takes out a big black magic marker and writes on a tattered piece of cardboard: "Ban 'Naked' Credit Default Swaps." Others hold signs calling for an end to "mortgage-backed securities" and "self-settled asset protection trusts." These demonstrations have a different, and more sophisticated, message than any we've seen before. "Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho — Interest Rate Swap Contracts Have Got To Go!"

OECD – November 22
Trade Still Matters, Says Jagdish Bhagwati

Trade is essential to global economic recovery and protectionism would be harmful, says Professor Jagdish Bhagwati of Columbia University in this interview with OECD.

BUSINESSWEEK – November 23
Are Rating Firms Getting a Free Pass?

Columbia University securities law professor John C. Coffee believes the changes enacted don’t go far enough. “Nothing has happened—and nothing may,” he says.

Bank of America, CalPERS Settle Suit Over Countrywide

The opt-outs believed that the proposed settlement was "shockingly cheap," Columbia University securities law expert John C. Coffee said at the time, citing a discussion with one of the lawyers representing those institutions.

THE NEW YORK TIMES – November 23
Courts Test Miranda Rights Limits in Terror Cases

Indeed, if the courts eventually uphold the admissibility of Mr. Arbabsiar’s statements, that would further strengthen “the government’s ability to pursue both intelligence and law enforcement goals without sacrificing one or the other,” said Daniel C. Richman, a Columbia law professor and former federal prosecutor.

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS (blog) – November 25
Trendspotting: the Future of the Computer

Tim Wu in his book, The Master Switch, takes a historical stance. He describes how various forms of media have initially floated on a wave of idealism and optimism only to succumb to forms of commercial, closed centralisation. He warns about this happening with the Internet.

The Tax Mess Deepens

Now tax experts don't expect action on the most important issues—income-tax rates, capital-gains rates, estate-tax exemptions and rates, and the alternative minimum tax—until after next year's election. Unless, that is, something happens in the economy to move lawmakers to act. "If the markets insist, Congress will respond," says Michael Graetz, a professor at Columbia University Law School and a former top Treasury official.

BUSINESS WEEK – November 28
Judge on Citi’s SEC Deal: “An engine of oppression”

It may seem that Judge Rakoff is taking a stance that echoes a central complaint of the Wall Street protesters. But John C. Coffee Jr., a professor at Columbia Law School and friend of Rakoff, cautioned against that view. “Don’t confuse Judge Rakoff with some member of the Occupy Wall Street movement,” Coffee said. “He spent his professional career defending corporations and investment banks as a securities litigator.”

Muzzling Teachers on Facebook

By Vivian Berger
With class sizes burgeoning and many youngsters remaining anonymous to their teachers, one might think that efforts by teachers to enhance communication with pupils would be applauded. Instead, school authorities and, more recently, legislators are casting a wary eye on such practices as teacher-student "friending" on Facebook.

An Early Connection

Columbia Law School professor Conrad Johnson's research offers a stark assessment of diversity in legal education. The overall percentage of minorities in law schools has slowly increased during the past 15 years to 22 percent.

THE NEW YORK TIMES – November 28
As Case Widens, So Do Concerns for Syracuse

The involvement of the Secret Service indicates there is an element of the case dealing with computers. According to the Columbia University law professor Daniel C. Richman, a recent emphasis on prosecuting child pornography and exploitation has moved the Secret Service to offer help to local investigations that might involve those issues. It also has expertise in computer forensics, which could explain the removal of a computer from Fine’s house after the search.

BLOOMBERG (TV) – November 29
MF Showed ‘Very Weak’ Risk Management, Coffee Says

John Coffee, a Columbia University law professor, talks about MF Global Holdings Ltd.'s trading practices and risk management and former Chief Executive Officer Jon Corzine's involvement in trades.

Citi Ruling Could Chill SEC, Street Legal Pacts

"Federal agencies learn, sometimes painfully, that you can't treat judges as though they're rubber stamps," said John Coffee, a law professor at Columbia University who said he was a friend of Judge Rakoff.

Notes From a Warming World

An opinion from ICJ wouldn’t have a direct effect on any nation, but legal experts say it could help set the parameters for future climate negotiations and influence litigation both between nations and in domestic courts around the world. “A decision such as requested would greatly help the bargaining position of the small island states,” says Michael Gerrard, director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School.

Deadlock in Durban

By Jagdish Bhagwati
The 17th conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, popularly known as COP-17, is taking place in Durban, South Africa, at a critical moment, as the historic 1997 Kyoto Protocol is set to expire next year. But, like the climate-change conferences in Copenhagen in 2009 and in Cancún in 2010, COP-17 can be expected to spend much and produce little.

China, Inc. Goes Global

By Karl P. Sauvant
China’s economy is now taking its next great leap forward: parts of its manufacturing sector are now moving up the value-added chain and out of the country.  The China challenge is now a global one.


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