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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Failure Of Private Ordering And The Financial Crisis Of 2008, Brian J.M. Quinn Apr 2009

The Failure Of Private Ordering And The Financial Crisis Of 2008, Brian J.M. Quinn

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This Article analyzes the Financial Crisis of 2008 in the context of failures by market participants to engage in private ordering thus leading to opportunistic behavior at the expense of market stability. The Financial Crisis of 2008 offers a decidedly negative verdict on a decades-long project to deregulate financial markets and rely on private ordering mechanisms, including securitization and default swaps, to mitigate opportunistic behavior and improve market efficiency. Although the regulatory approach of the past two decades, which relied in great measure on private parties fending for themselves, helped to generate a number of innovations and positive developments in ...


Corporate Ethics In A Devilish System, Kent Greenfield Dec 2008

Corporate Ethics In A Devilish System, Kent Greenfield

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Prepared for a roundtable on corporate ethics at the University of Maryland School of Law, this essay argues that discussions of corporate ethics that focus on mere compliance with law are too narrow. While an emphasis on legal compliance is indeed crucial, a dedication to legality standing alone is hardly a robust sense of ethics, corporate or otherwise. Whether one takes guidance from religious norms or from secular philosophers, there are significant areas of agreement as to what amounts to ethical behavior: acting with due care for others; taking responsibility for the effect of one's actions; being honest; considering ...


The Moral Hazard Problem In Global Economic Regulation, Frank J. Garcia Jul 2008

The Moral Hazard Problem In Global Economic Regulation, Frank J. Garcia

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Global regulation of international business transactions presents a particular form of the moral hazard problem. Global firms use economic and political power to manipulate state and state-controlled multilateral regulation to preserve their opportunity to externalize the social costs of global economic activity with impunity. Unless other actors can effectively counter this at the national and global regulatory levels, globalization re-creates the conditions for under-regulated or “robber baron” capitalism at the global level. This model of economic activity has been rejected at the national level by the same modern democratic capitalist states which currently dominate globalization, creating a crisis of legitimacy ...


What's At Stake In The Sovereignty Debate?: International Tax And The Nation-State, Diane M. Ring Apr 2008

What's At Stake In The Sovereignty Debate?: International Tax And The Nation-State, Diane M. Ring

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The international tax problems of today are typically beyond the scope of a single nation to solve. However, the prospect of multinational problem solving, often under the auspices of an international organization, unleashes objections grounded in sovereignty. Despite widespread reliance on sovereignty arguments, little attention has been directed at what precisely is meant by sovereignty and what place it has in international tax policy. This article contends that a loss of sovereignty undermines both significant functional roles played by a nation-state (revenue and fiscal policy) and important normative governance values (accountability and democratic legitimacy). Whether these limitations are severe enough ...


Credit And Trust: Fruit Markets In The Mekong Delta, Brian J.M. Quinn, Vu T. Anh Jan 2008

Credit And Trust: Fruit Markets In The Mekong Delta, Brian J.M. Quinn, Vu T. Anh

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.


The ‘Fair’ Trade Law Of Nations, Or A ‘Fair’ Global Law Of Economic Relations?, Frank J. Garcia Aug 2007

The ‘Fair’ Trade Law Of Nations, Or A ‘Fair’ Global Law Of Economic Relations?, Frank J. Garcia

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.


A Prescription To Retire The Rhetoric Of "Principles-Based Systems" In Corporate Law, Securities Regulation And Accounting, Lawrence A. Cunningham Mar 2007

A Prescription To Retire The Rhetoric Of "Principles-Based Systems" In Corporate Law, Securities Regulation And Accounting, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This Article corrects widespread misconception about whether complex regulatory systems can be fairly described as either “rules-based” or “principles-based” (also called “standards-based”). Promiscuous use of these labels has proliferated in the years since the implosion of Enron Corp. While the concepts of rules and principles (or standards) are useful to classify individual provisions, they are not scalable to the level of complex regulatory systems. The Article uses examples from corporate law, securities regulation and accounting to illustrate this problematic phenomenon before turning to a series of possible explanations for the widespread use of these misleading labels. The piece contributes to ...


The Sarbanes-Oxley Act: Legal Implications And Research Opportunities, Stephen K. Asare, Lawrence A. Cunningham, Arnold Wright Feb 2007

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act: Legal Implications And Research Opportunities, Stephen K. Asare, Lawrence A. Cunningham, Arnold Wright

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to restore investor confidence, which had been deflated by massive business and audit failures, epitomized by the demise of the Enron Corporation and Arthur Andersen LLP. The Act altered the roles and responsibilities of auditors, corporate officers, audit committee members, as well as other participants in the financial reporting process. We evaluate the potential legal implications of some of the Act’s major provisions and anticipate participants’ likely responses. Our evaluation suggests that these provisions will significantly change behavior, increase compliance costs and alter the legal landscape. We also identify promising avenues for future research ...


Globalization And The Environment: Why All The Fuss?, David A. Wirth Feb 2007

Globalization And The Environment: Why All The Fuss?, David A. Wirth

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The relationship between globalization and environmental policies presents more nuances than the popular paradigm of free trader versus self-serving protectionists, the familiar model of environmentalist battling greedy polluters, or the outmoded view of a progressive multilateral agenda juxtaposed against a parochial, inward-looking domestic one. This piece sets out a structural and analytical framework for addressing the major issues in the field -- including (1) unilateral trade-based measures to protect the environment; (2) science-based tests applied through trade agreements; (3) disciplines on foreign investment that may have a "chilling effect" on environmental regulation; and (4) the relationship between free trade agreements and ...


Is Free Trade "Free?" Is It Even "Trade?" Oppression And Consent In Hemispheric Trade Agreements, Frank J. Garcia Jan 2007

Is Free Trade "Free?" Is It Even "Trade?" Oppression And Consent In Hemispheric Trade Agreements, Frank J. Garcia

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In order for free trade as a policy to deliver fully on its social promise, it must be both “free” and “trade.” In fact, it must be free, in the sense of voluntary, to be trade at all. In other words, for normative and practical reasons, free trade requires that global economic relations be structured through agreements which reflect the consent of those subject to them. The neoliberal trading system today only imperfectly lives up to this obligation. In this essay, I will examine the role of consent in trade agreements, drawing on examples from CAFTA as representative of important ...


Language, Deals And Standards: The Future Of Xml Contracts, Lawrence A. Cunningham May 2006

Language, Deals And Standards: The Future Of Xml Contracts, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

eXtensible Markup Language (XML) structures information in documentary systems ranging from financial reports to medical records and business contracts. XML standards for specific applications are developed spontaneously by self-appointed technologists or entrepreneurs. XML’s social and economic stakes are considerable, especially when developed for the private law of contracts. XML can reduce transaction costs but also limit the range of contractual expression and redefine the nature of law practice. So reliance on spontaneous development may be sub-optimal and identification of a more formal public standard setting model necessary. To exploit XML’s advantages while minimizing risks, this Article envisions creating ...


Conflict Of Laws For Transactions In Securities Held Through Intermediaries, James S. Rogers Apr 2006

Conflict Of Laws For Transactions In Securities Held Through Intermediaries, James S. Rogers

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The evolution of the modern system of securities holding through intermediaries poses particularly difficult conflict of laws issues. The traditional approach to conflict of laws suggests that the law governing a transaction in securities is determined by the location of the securities; yet under modern conditions it is difficult in practice, if not impossible in theory, to determine that location. A recent project of the Hague Conference on Private International Law has confronted these problems and devised a workable, modern approach. For any such project to succeed, lawyers must be willing to abandon traditional concepts of conflict of laws such ...


The New Old Law Of Electronic Money, James S. Rogers Oct 2005

The New Old Law Of Electronic Money, James S. Rogers

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

A variety of electronic money systems have recently been proposed or implemented in which the initial transaction between the parties would—without any contact to the banking system—result in the instantaneous transfer of bank credit. For example, “smart-card” systems and various systems that have been proposed for internet payment transactions would operate by loading transferable value onto a device, so that a payment transaction could be completed by a transaction between the parties, without any contact to the banking system. It is generally assumed that there is no present law, statutory or judge-made, that applies directly to such electronic ...


A Bridle, A Prod And A Big Stick: An Evaluation Of Class Actions, Shareholder Proposals And The Ultra Vires Doctrine As Methods For Controlling Corporate Behavior, Adam Sulkowski, Kent Greenfield Jun 2005

A Bridle, A Prod And A Big Stick: An Evaluation Of Class Actions, Shareholder Proposals And The Ultra Vires Doctrine As Methods For Controlling Corporate Behavior, Adam Sulkowski, Kent Greenfield

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Written for the recent conference at St. John’s University Law School on “People of Color, Women, and the Public Corporation,” this paper evaluates recently applied methods of influencing corporate behavior on employment practices and recommends that a dormant legal doctrine be revitalized and added to the “tool box” of activists and concerned shareholders. The methods of influencing corporate behavior that are evaluated include class action lawsuits and shareholder proposals to amend corporate policy. In both contexts, there are procedural hurdles to achieving success. Even when success is achieved, there are limits to the actual changes in organizational behavior that ...


Finance Theory And Accounting Fraud: Fantastic Futures Versus Conservative Histories, Lawrence A. Cunningham Jan 2005

Finance Theory And Accounting Fraud: Fantastic Futures Versus Conservative Histories, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Intellectual tension between the fields of finance and accounting may help to explain explosion of public company frauds. Finance theory diminishes the relevance of accounting information. Enron exploited this consequence while the SEC bought into it. After widespread frauds were exposed, Congress passed laws that address symptoms of finance's futurism, not disease. Laws essentially prohibit pro forma financial reporting and regulate the selective flow of futuristic information to financial analysts. Untouched is the underlying disease of regulatory mandates requiring extensive disclosure of forward-looking information. Until the 1970s, the SEC prudently prohibited such futuristic disclosure as inherently unreliable; assisted by ...


A Model Financial Statement Insurance Act, Lawrence A. Cunningham Sep 2004

A Model Financial Statement Insurance Act, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Building on companion work investigating the efficacy of financial statement insurance (FSI) as an alternative to traditional auditor liability, this Article presents the terms of a national enabling statute to implement this concept. The Model Financial Statement Insurance Act uses the architecture of the U.S. Trust Indenture Act of 1939. It authorizes issuer application for qualification, in connection with annual proxy statement filings, of policies of financial statement insurance. The Model FSI Act deems a series of provisions necessary to achieve securities law objectives to be part of all financial statement insurance policies so proposed, and requires insurers to ...


The Basic Principle Of Loss Allocation For Unauthorized Checks, James S. Rogers Jun 2004

The Basic Principle Of Loss Allocation For Unauthorized Checks, James S. Rogers

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

It is commonly thought that the Uniform Commercial Code adopts a negligence principle as the basis of loss allocation for the check system. This Article argues that this common assumption is wrong. Instead, the fundamental principle of the check system and all other payment systems is that the burden of unpreventable losses should rest with the providers of the payment system rather than with the users of the payment system. The Article shows that the old English case of Price v. Neal is not, as is commonly thought, an anomaly but is instead entirely consistent with the basic principle of ...


Choosing Gatekeepers: The Financial Statement Insurance Alternative To Auditor Liability, Lawrence A. Cunningham Jun 2004

Choosing Gatekeepers: The Financial Statement Insurance Alternative To Auditor Liability, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Positioned in a lively current debate concerning how to design auditor incentives to optimize financial statement auditing, this Article presents the more ambitious financial statement insurance alternative. This breaks from the existing securities regulation framework to draw directly on insurance markets and law. Based on upon an evaluation of major structural and policy-related features of the concept, the assessment prescribes a framework to permit companies, on an experimental-basis and with investor approval, to use financial statement insurance as an optional alternative to the existing model of financial statement auditing backed by auditor liability. The financial statement insurance concept, pioneered by ...


Facilitating Auditing’S New Early Warning System: Control Disclosure, Auditor Liability And Safe Harbors, Lawrence A. Cunningham Apr 2004

Facilitating Auditing’S New Early Warning System: Control Disclosure, Auditor Liability And Safe Harbors, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This Article considers the interplay between new auditing standards governing audits of internal control over financial reporting and pre-existing legal standards governing auditor liability for audit failure. The interplay produces skewed liability incentives that, if unadjusted, threaten to impair the objective of this new control-audit regime. The regime’s objective is, in part, to provide an early warning to financial statement users when current financial statements are reliable but control weaknesses indicate material risk of a company’s future inability to produce reliable financial statements. To be meaningful, auditor disclosure of material weaknesses and potential effects is necessary. While liability ...


Sarbanes-Oxley And The Role Of Lawyers In Public Companies, Lawrence A. Cunningham Apr 2003

Sarbanes-Oxley And The Role Of Lawyers In Public Companies, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Lectures and Presentations

No abstract provided.


One Nation Among Many: Policy Implications Of Cross-Border Tax Arbitrage, Diane M. Ring Dec 2002

One Nation Among Many: Policy Implications Of Cross-Border Tax Arbitrage, Diane M. Ring

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Cross-border tax arbitrage arises where a transaction is subject to two or more countries’ differing tax regimes. Conflicts between the tax rules create unique opportunities for the parties to engage in profitable tax planning – opportunities that would not be available if the transaction occurred entirely domestically in one of the countries. These opportunities have been a growing feature of the multi-jurisdictional business world and have raised issues concerning whether and how countries, such as the United States, should respond. This Article examines cross-border tax arbitrage in the context of both domestic tax policy and of other international tax issues, and ...


The Misuse Of Tax Incentives To Align Management-Shareholder Interests, James R. Repetti Jan 1997

The Misuse Of Tax Incentives To Align Management-Shareholder Interests, James R. Repetti

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The U.S. tax system contains many provisions which are intended to align management of large publicly traded companies more closely to stockholders. This article shows that many of the tax provisions that have been adopted are of questionable effectiveness because they fail to address the complexities of stockholder-management relations in attempting to motivate management to act in the best interests of stockholders. The article proposes that rather than Congress attempting to identify the best way that it can use the tax system to motivate management, Congress should eliminate tax provisions which subsidize management's inefficiencies in order to encourage ...


An Essay On Horseless Carriages And Paperless Negotiable Instruments: Some Lessons From The Article 8 Revision, James S. Rogers Jan 1995

An Essay On Horseless Carriages And Paperless Negotiable Instruments: Some Lessons From The Article 8 Revision, James S. Rogers

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

As practices change, so too must the language and concepts that define and describe them. That is the lesson to be drawn from the past few decades’ work on the commercial law of investment securities. Article 8 is the first article of the Uniform Commercial Code to reach a third generation. There is the original version, the 1978 version, and now the 1994 version. The original version was based on the traditional system in which buyers and sellers effected transfer of securities by physical delivery of certificates. The 1978 version added new provisions dealing with “uncertificated securities.” Then the 1994 ...


Through The Looking Glass Of Eminent Domain: Exploring The "Arbitrary And Capricious" Test And Substantive Rationality Review Of Governmental Decisions, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 1989

Through The Looking Glass Of Eminent Domain: Exploring The "Arbitrary And Capricious" Test And Substantive Rationality Review Of Governmental Decisions, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The day-to-day realities of different systems of government can be discerned in the way they handle, in theory and practice, clashes between the individual and the collective will. The structure of contemporary American democracy is no exception. It is comprised of a variegated assortment of judicial formulae for balancing the interests of the individual and the state, most of these formulae tracing back with differing degrees of directness to textual bases in the first nine amendments to the federal Constitution or their state constitutional equivalents. One of these basic structural balancings, encountered early on by every student of American law ...


The Article 2 Merchant Rules: Karl Llewellyn’S Attempt To Achieve The Good, The True, The Beautiful In Commercial Law., Ingrid Michelsen Hillinger Jan 1985

The Article 2 Merchant Rules: Karl Llewellyn’S Attempt To Achieve The Good, The True, The Beautiful In Commercial Law., Ingrid Michelsen Hillinger

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In 1949, the Uniform Commercial Code was unveiled by Karl Llewellyn and his drafting-crew, which legally distinguished merchants and nonmerchants within Article 2 of the Code. However, the author suggests that a merchant muddle has arisen due to a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature and purpose of Article 2, which the author argues was never intended to codify merchant custom and trade usage. Section I of the article describes and then refutes the perception that the merchant rules codify actual business practices. It goes on to discuss some of the actual considerations that prompted the substantive content of the merchant ...