The New Jersey Supreme Court wants to do something about the scandalous "access to justice" problem: the fact that few Americans can afford a lawyer.
So in October, it formed a working group to consider requiring up to 50 hours of free, or pro bono, legal services as a condition of being allowed to practice law in the state.
The CLS Blue Sky Blog – January 16
SEC Enforcement: Rhetoric and Reality
By John C. Coffee, Jr.
On January 14, Robert S. Khuzami and George S. Canellos published their response in the National Law Journal to my earlier column, “SEC Enforcement: What Has Gone Wrong?” Their column—“Unfair Claims, Untenable Solution”(available here)—minces no words, but in my judgment continues to miss the forest for the trees. In responding, I want to emphasize that I am criticizing policies, not individuals. I have no doubt that both men are able lawyers who have worked hard to improve the SEC’s performance.
InsideClimate News – January 16
Q&A: The Challenges of Facing Coming Climate Extremes
In an essay after superstorm Sandy, Michael Gerrard, director of the Center for Climate Change Law At Columbia University
, proposed that instead of thinking about what Sandy was, we should focus on "what Hurricane Sandy was not," as his title put it.
Similar articles appeared in other publications.
Bloomberg Businessweek – January 16
SEC May Force Disclosure of Political Contributions
Opposing those groups are academics and shareholder activists who have long crusaded for greater disclosure. In 2011, Columbia University Law Professor Robert Jackson
and nine other academics petitioned the S.E.C. to make companies report their political spending to investors. The petition got 322,000 favorable responses—reportedly the most the agency has ever received on any topic.
The New York Law Journal – January 17
Gone With the Wind: Small IPOs, the JOBS Act, and Reality
By John C. Coffee Jr.
In his Corporate Securities column, John C. Coffee Jr., the Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law at Columbia University Law School and Director of its Center on Corporate Governance
, writes that if one truly wanted to encourage smaller IPOs, the reforms that might do the most good would seek to (1) restrict selective disclosure at roadshows (by amending Regulation FD's overbroad current exemptions), and (2) encourage Dutch Auctions to reduce the total underwriting costs to the issuer (which costs include the first day runup in price).
The Daily Voice – January 17
New Castle Climate Change Experts Share Concern
Co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters and the Chappaqua Library, the presentation was led by New Castle resident Professor Michael Gerrard of Columbia Law School
and Robi Schlaff, a New Castle resident who chaired the state Sea Level Rise Task Force Steering Committee. Gerrard, also the director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia
, focused on the effects greenhouse gases have on our climate. He also highlighted our energy-efficient legislation — or lack thereof.
He said, “2012 was far and away the warmest year in United State history. As you can see, the more greenhouse gases we use, the warmer our country gets.”
Similar articles appeared in other publications.
Legal News – January 17
Law professor honored by the International Arbitration Club of NY
The prize honors the late professor Hans Smit of Columbia Law School
and Andreas Lowenfeld, the Rubin Professor Emeritus at the New York University School of Law, for their distinguished careers in the field of international arbitration, both as scholars and as arbitrators.
Fortune – January 18
JPMorgan's London Whale review: Inside job
John Coffee, a professor at Columbia Law School
, says he, too, finds it odd that the review on such a high profile event was conducted internally. "It's unusual," says John Coffee, a professor at Columbia Law School. "But it's a lot cheaper to do it in house."
Expansión – January 19
A school of leaders in the epicenter of global law
Columbia University educates, along with Harvard, Yale and Stanford, several of the best lawyers in the world. Its location in New York grants greater access to top law firms and personalities.
[Note: This article has been translated into English from the original Spanish-language story]
The New York Times – January 21
At Stanford, Clinical Training for Defense of Religious Liberty
Leading conservative scholars across the country welcomed the opening of the clinic as a breakthrough in elite legal education. Stephen L. Carter of Yale Law School hailed it as a “milestone,” Philip Hamburger of Columbia Law
called it a “blessing,” and Thomas F. Farr of Georgetown University called it “corner turning.”
Lexology – January 21
Coffee, Khuzami, Canellos and the future of SEC enforcement
Professor John Coffee’s
recent proposal that the SEC retain outside counsel on a contingent fee basis to litigate select cases reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of Commission enforcement actions. In posts on his Columbia Law School Blog (The CLS Blue Sky Blog)
dated January 2 and 16, 2013 Professor Coffee details what he believes to be a series of difficulties with the SEC enforcement program.
The New Yorker – January 22
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Disney World
By Tim Wu
New York Times
, Los Angeles Times
, and other news organizations have speculated that “Escape from Tomorrow” must violate Disney’s rights and that its lawyers will seek to have the film enjoined. At the Sundance Film Festival, where the film premièred this week, Moore was onstage answering questions when someone in the audience asked, roughly, “Why did you put so much work into a film that violates so many laws?”
This article was referenced in other publications.
Lawfare – January 22
Letter in Support of Brennan Nomination
By Trevor Morrison
I’m pleased to report that a group of former Obama Administration lawyers (including yours truly) has just submitted to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence a letter expressing our strong support for John Brennan’s nomination to be Director of the CIA.
Prospect – January 23
How to help feminism
By Jagdish Bhagwati
The horrifying tragedy that befell the young Indian woman Jyoti Singh, who was brutally gang raped in a New Delhi bus in December, and later died in a Singapore hospital, has led to spontaneous outrage. That Indian women face terrifying risk when they venture into public spaces, as they must do in cities and towns and will do even in villages, is a fact that few had appreciated earlier; this is no longer so.
Wisconsin Public Radio – January 23
Katherine Franke on President Obama’s Historic Remarks
President Obama made history during his second inaugural address on Monday when he mentioned marriage equality for gays and lesbians. This hour, Veronica Rueckert's guest discusses those statements, and the upcoming gay marriage cases before the Supreme Court.
Guest: Katherine Franke, Professor of Law and Director, Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, Columbia.
SmartData Collective – January 23
The Use and Abuse of Big Data
Eben Moglen, professor of law and legal history at Columbia University
and Chairman of the Software Freedom Law Center, warned at re:publica Berlin in May 2012 that "media that spies on and data-mines the public is destroying freedom of thought and only this generation, the last to grow up remembering the 'old way,' is positioned to save this, humanity's most precious freedom."
The New York Times – January 24
Toward a Simpler Tax System
By Michael J. Graetz
What our nation needs is a new and better tax system, one that is far simpler, fair and more conducive to economic growth. We should combine a tax on sales of goods and services with an income tax on higher-income people to be at least as progressive and raise at least as much revenue as current law.
Slate – January 24
If You Care About the Environment, You Should Support Nuclear Power
By Tim Wu
A good, politically charged documentary often seizes on what the audience already believes and throws fuel on the fire (see, e.g., the work of Michael Moore). A better such documentary tries to convince its audience that what it takes for granted is flat-out wrong. Pandora’s Promise
, which premiered at Sundance, does just that. It makes the utterly convincing case that anyone who considers themselves an environmentalist or takes climate change seriously should favor more nuclear power.
NPR – January 24
New York Murder Rate Plummets, But Who Should Get The Credit?
"If you look at the 50-year perspective, there are cities across the spectrum [where] crime rates have gone back to what their 1960 levels were, without having to resort to these tactics," says Jeffrey Fagan, who teaches law at Columbia University
. Fagan says other big cities like Los Angeles and Houston have also seen violent crime decline to levels not seen in decades.
Reuters – January 24
Congress tax writer weighs changes for derivatives
Tax rules for financial instruments "are inconsistent with each other and have no basis in the reality of economics," said David Miller
, a tax lawyer at the Cadwalader law firm, who also teaches derivatives taxation at Columbia University Law School
[David Miller is a lecturer-in-law at the Law School.]
Corporate Counsel – January 25
In Mary Jo White, SEC Gets a Chair Who Knows Both Sides of the Battlefield
But Columbia University law professor Harvey Goldschmid
, a former SEC commissioner as well as one-time SEC general counsel, thinks White will bring both sides of her legal career to the job…. Calling her appointment “terrific,” Goldschmid is someone who knows her well—and in fact taught her at Columbia years ago. “She is tough and she’s pragmatic, with a first-rate mind. She is going to be demanding and will put up with no nonsense, but she’ll be fair,” he insisted.
The Washington Post – January 26
Virginia case highlights need to stop gerrymandering by GOP, Democrats alike
Both Republicans and Democrats regularly exhibit such greed and dishonesty in manipulating electoral maps that a Columbia University
expert who studies the practice likened his work to that of an anthropologist who observes cannibals.
“I have to replace normal human reactions of disgust and revulsion with fascination and curiosity. It’s the only way I can cope,” said Nathaniel Persily, a law professor
who’s helped draw election lines in Maryland and other states.
The News Eagle – January 27
Request for Stay Filed Against NEUP Pipeline
The Petition asks the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, a federal court, to issue a stay of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Order and Certification issued on May 29, 2012 as well as its Notice to Proceed with Construction issued for the TGP NEUP on December 14, 2012. Petitioners are represented by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network’s attorneys and the Environmental Law Clinic at Columbia Law School.
UC Davis News and Information – January 28
CalPERS, UC Davis launch research initiative to study impact of sustainability factors on investments
“Improving our understanding of the relationship between ESG and long-term performance is critical for boards of directors, shareholders and indeed everyone who relies upon public companies to be responsible stewards of capital,” said Robert J. Jackson, Jr., Associate Professor of Law
, Milton Handler Fellow and Co-Director of the Ira M. Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership at Columbia Law School. “We are delighted to be working with CalPERS on this important initiative, and look forward to valuable new conversations with academics, practitioners, and investors on these critical questions.”
Brookings – January 28
Filling Judicial Vacancies In Obama's Second Term—Some Prospects
That the rule does not apply to circuit (or Supreme Court) nominees makes a certain perverse sense, in that those nominations have been more contentious. In Obama’s first term, 46 percent of district confirmations were by voice vote or unanimous consent, double the 23 percent of circuit confirmations that went that route. And, on roll call votes, 11 percent of district confirmations received 11 or more negative votes, versus 24 percent of circuit confirmations. The rules change may be a step toward putting district and circuit nominations on different paths, as advocated, for example, by Columbia Law School’s Michael Shenkman.
Inside Counsel – January 29
E-discovery: Managing the duty to preserve voicemail
By Paul Sarkozi,
Vincent Syracuse, George Du Pont, Matthew Sinkman
Litigants increasingly seek discovery of voicemail. In a matter in which there is a duty to preserve electronically stored information, there may also be a duty to preserve voicemail messages. What should inside counsel do? New voicemail technologies require new ways of thinking about how to comply with a party’s discovery obligations.
[Paul Sarkozi is a lecturer-in-law at the Law School.]
The Asset – January 30
Former US Deputy Attorney General joins HSBC board
James Brien Comey, Jr
., former US Deputy Attorney General, has been appointed a director of HSBC Holdings starting March 4 2013. He will be an independent non-executive director and a member of the financial system vulnerabilities committee. Comey is a senior research scholar and Hertog Fellow on national security law at Columbia University Law School
in New York. From 2010 to 2013, he was general counsel of Bridgewater Associates and, from 2005 to 2010, senior vice-president and general counsel of the Lockheed Martin Corporation.
Similar articles appeared in other publications.
Legal News – January 30
Columbia launches blog on financial matters
Columbia Law School
this week launched The CLS Blue Sky Blog, Columbia Law School’s Blog on Corporations and the Capital Markets.
The CLS Blue Sky Blog offers analysis of noteworthy developments in the worlds of financial reform, securities regulation, corporate governance and more.
Bloomberg Law – January 31
Can Feds Force Companies to Disclose Political Spending?
The SEC is considering a proposal by Robert Jackson, associate professor at Columbia Law School
, that public companies be required to disclose their political spending. SEC staff members have said they plan to issue a proposed rule by April of this year. Jackson tells Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia that "the thing to keep in mind is that this is investors' money. It's the corporation's resources being spent on this," and investors have a right to know when they decide where to put their money, he says.
The Atlantic – January/February 2013
The Web’s New Monopolists
“Strategy is antitrust with a minus sign in front of it,” says the Columbia Law School professor Tim Wu
, who has taught both subjects. That is, strategy tries to maximize what antitrust tries to minimize.
Africa Investor – January/February 2013
By Perrine Toledano
Only about 30% of Africa has access to electricity, and transport costs in Africa are among the highest in the world. For the World Bank, the annual funding gap for infrastructure investment in Africa is US $31 billion. This gap however can be filled if the investments of natural resource concessionaires are leveraged and not planned in an enclave model.
[Perrine Toledano is lead economics and policy researcher at the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment, a joint center of Columbia Law School and the Earth Institute at Columbia University.]
Americas Quarterly – January 29
Ask the Experts: Mining
By Lisa Sachs
, Jon Samuel , Anthony Hodge, Francisco Panizza and Edwin Julio Palomino Cadenas
“At the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment at Columbia University, we have identified five “pillars” that are necessary for resource-based sustainable development. Each pillar requires the collaboration of governments, companies, donors and communities.”
Lisa Sachs ’08 is director of the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment, a joint center of Columbia Law School and the Earth Institute at Columbia University.