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Seattle University Law Review

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Full-Text Articles in Securities Law

Table Of Contents, Seattle University Law Review Sep 2019

Table Of Contents, Seattle University Law Review

Seattle University Law Review

No abstract provided.


Looking Forward In A Failing World: Adolf A. Berle, Jr., The United States, And Global Order In The Interwar Years, Jessica Wang Feb 2019

Looking Forward In A Failing World: Adolf A. Berle, Jr., The United States, And Global Order In The Interwar Years, Jessica Wang

Seattle University Law Review

This essay explores Berle’s understanding of American power and its relationship to global order in the era between the First and Second World Wars. I first survey the history of progressive internationalism in the 1920s in order to situate Berle’s approach to U.S. foreign relations and global affairs, before proceeding to a close examination of Berle’s immediate response to the aftermath of World War I, and then his foreign policy activities as part of the Roosevelt administration in the late 1930s and early 1940s. My analysis focuses in particular on his public efforts to promote a ...


Merrick Dodd And The Great Depression: A Few Historical Corrections, Charles R. T. O'Kelley Feb 2019

Merrick Dodd And The Great Depression: A Few Historical Corrections, Charles R. T. O'Kelley

Seattle University Law Review

Merrick Dodd is remembered primarily for his role as coprotagonist, with Adolf Berle, in the famous Berle–Dodd debate. Dodd’s contribution to that debate—For Whom are Corporate Managers Trustees?—has generally been interpreted as the inspiration for modern stakeholder theory. Berle’s contribution has generally been viewed as the foundation on which shareholder primacy rests. Both of these views have been clarified by the nuanced work of Bratton and Wachter. Oddly, while scholars have devoted a great deal of attention to Berle’s actual life story, there is almost no scholarship that sheds light on Merrick Dodd, the ...


“All Lawyers Are Somewhat Suspect”: Adolf A. Berle And The Modern Legal Profession, Harwell Wells Feb 2019

“All Lawyers Are Somewhat Suspect”: Adolf A. Berle And The Modern Legal Profession, Harwell Wells

Seattle University Law Review

Adolf A. Berle was perhaps the preeminent scholar of the modern corporation. He was also an occasional scholar of the modern legal profession. This Article surveys his writings on the legal profession from the 1930s to the 1960s, from the sharp criticisms he leveled at lawyers, particularly corporate lawyers, during the Great Depression, to his sunnier account of the lawyer’s role in the postwar era. I argue that Berle’s views were shaped both by the reformist tradition he inherited from Louis Brandeis and his writings on the corporation, which left him convinced that the fate of the legal ...


Berle And Corporation Finance: Everything Old Is New Again, Frank Partnoy Feb 2019

Berle And Corporation Finance: Everything Old Is New Again, Frank Partnoy

Seattle University Law Review

In this essay, I want to illustrate how Adolf A. Berle Jr.’s Studies in the Law of Corporation Finance1 was prescient about the kinds of financial innovation that are central to today’s markets. For scholars who are not familiar with this publication, Corporation Finance is a compilation of edited versions of several of Berle’s articles, along with some new material, most of which is focused on 1920s corporate practice. My primary goal here is simply to shine a light on this work and to memorialize for scholars the key passages that echo many of today’s challenges ...


Collected Lectures And Talks On Corporate Law, Legal Theory, History, Finance, And Governance, William W. Bratton Feb 2019

Collected Lectures And Talks On Corporate Law, Legal Theory, History, Finance, And Governance, William W. Bratton

Seattle University Law Review

A collection of eighteen speeches and lectures, from 2003 to 2018, discussing and expanding on the writings and theories of Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means.


“In Time Of Stress, A Civilization Pauses To Take Stock Of Itself”: Adolf A. Berle And The Modern Corporation From The New Era To 1933, Mark Hendrickson Feb 2019

“In Time Of Stress, A Civilization Pauses To Take Stock Of Itself”: Adolf A. Berle And The Modern Corporation From The New Era To 1933, Mark Hendrickson

Seattle University Law Review

This Article demonstrates three things. First, an examination of Berle’s work and thinking in this critical period reveals the ways in which public problems and the need to “know capitalism,” to borrow a phrase from Mary Furner, converged in the post-WWI era in remarkable and unprecedented ways that would shape New Deal and post-New Deal politics and policy. Berle’s gift for synthesizing evidence and constructing narratives that explained complex events were particularly well suited to this era that prized the expert. Second, identifying a problem and developing a persuasive narrative is one thing, but finding solutions is another ...


Berle X: Berle And His World: An Homage To William W. Bratton, Charles R. T. O'Kelley Feb 2019

Berle X: Berle And His World: An Homage To William W. Bratton, Charles R. T. O'Kelley

Seattle University Law Review

An introduction to the Berle X symposium, honoring William W. (Bill) Bratton.


Democracy In America At Work: The History Of Labor’S Vote In Corporate Governance, Ewan Mcgaughey Feb 2019

Democracy In America At Work: The History Of Labor’S Vote In Corporate Governance, Ewan Mcgaughey

Seattle University Law Review

Can there be democracy in America at work? The historical division between democracy in politics and hierarchy in the economy is under strain. Hierarchical interests in the economy are shifting their model of power into politics, and yet a commitment to revive the law is resurgent. Central examples are the proposed Accountable Capitalism Act, Reward Work Act, Workplace Democracy Acts, and Employees’ Pension Security Acts. They would create a right for employees to elect 40% of directors on $1 billion company boards, a right for employees to elect one-third of directors on other listed company boards and require one-half employee ...


Technological And Institutional Crossroads: The Life And Times Of Adolf A. Berle Jr., Bernard C. Beaudreau Feb 2019

Technological And Institutional Crossroads: The Life And Times Of Adolf A. Berle Jr., Bernard C. Beaudreau

Seattle University Law Review

In this paper, I examine the life and times of Adolf A. Berle Jr., perhaps the most influential scholar in the field of corporate governance. Specifically, I examine his contribution in light of the technological and institutional changes that occurred in the late nineteenth century—changes that were germane to his thinking and understanding of corporate governance. I argue that, despite his perspicacity, he failed to appreciate the changing role of corporate officers—that is, from that of fiduciary agent to that of visionary, founder, and essential element in corporate success. Put differently, in the early twentieth century, the key ...


Table Of Contents, Seattle University Law Review Feb 2019

Table Of Contents, Seattle University Law Review

Seattle University Law Review

No abstract provided.


The Modern Corporation And Private Property Revisited: Gardiner Means And The Administered Price, William W. Bratton Feb 2019

The Modern Corporation And Private Property Revisited: Gardiner Means And The Administered Price, William W. Bratton

Seattle University Law Review

This essay casts additional light on The Modern Corporation’s corporatist precincts, shifting attention to the book’s junior coauthor, Gardiner C. Means. Means is accurately remembered as the generator of Book I’s statistical showings—the description of deepening corporate concentration and widening separation of ownership and control. He is otherwise more notable for his absence than his presence in today’s discussions of The Modern Corporation. This essay fills this gap, describing the junior coauthor’s central concern—a theory of administered prices set out in a Ph.D. dissertation Means submitted to the Harvard economics department after ...


Berle And Means’S The Modern Corporation And Private Property: The Military Roots Of A Stakeholder Model Of Corporate Governance, Andrew Smith, Kevin D. Tennent, Jason Russell Feb 2019

Berle And Means’S The Modern Corporation And Private Property: The Military Roots Of A Stakeholder Model Of Corporate Governance, Andrew Smith, Kevin D. Tennent, Jason Russell

Seattle University Law Review

The Modern Corporation and Private Property by Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means (1932) remains one of the most cited works in management studies. Our paper shows that Berle and Means espoused a stakeholder theory of corporate governance that challenged the then-hegemonic idea that the sole purpose of a corporation is to create value for the shareholders. We argue that Berle and Means’s support for stakeholder theory can be associated with their earlier service in the U.S. military, an organization which then inculcated an ethos of public service in its members. Our paper, which is based on archival research ...


Corporate Lessons For Public Governance: The Origins And Activities Of The National Budget Committee, 1919–1923, Jesse Tarbert Feb 2019

Corporate Lessons For Public Governance: The Origins And Activities Of The National Budget Committee, 1919–1923, Jesse Tarbert

Seattle University Law Review

There is a peculiar disconnect between the way specialists view the 1920s and the way the decade is understood by non-specialists and the general public. Casual observers tend to view the 1920s as a conservative or reactionary interlude between the watershed reform periods of the Progressive Era and New Deal. Although many scholars have abandoned the traditional view of the 1920s, their work has not yet penetrated the generalizations of non-specialists. Even readers familiar with specialist accounts portraying the New Era as the age of “corporate liberalism” or the “Associative State” tend to view these concepts as just another way ...


Adolf Berle During The New Deal: The Brain Truster As An Intellectual Jobber, Robert B. Thompson Feb 2019

Adolf Berle During The New Deal: The Brain Truster As An Intellectual Jobber, Robert B. Thompson

Seattle University Law Review

Adolf Berle’s ideas have attained a remarkable longevity in corporate law with an influence exceeding that of any other twentieth century law professor. Participants in the now ten Berle symposia often have framed the discussion of his career as an intellectual history, usually built around the powerful transformative effect of The Modern Corporation and Private Property (MCPP). Yet this approach is insufficient to explain large parts of Berle’s professional career, including what Berle did during the twelve years of the Roosevelt Administration that immediately followed MCPP. This Article offers an alternative focus that better accounts for the career ...


Quasi Governments And Inchoate Law: Berle’S Vision Of Limits On Corporate Power, Elizabeth Pollman Feb 2019

Quasi Governments And Inchoate Law: Berle’S Vision Of Limits On Corporate Power, Elizabeth Pollman

Seattle University Law Review

This Berle X Symposium essay gives prominence to distinguished corporate law scholar Adolf A. Berle, Jr. and his key writings of the 1950s and 1960s. Berle is most famous for his work decades earlier, in the 1930s, with Gardiner Means on the topic of the separation of ownership and control, and for his great debate of corporate social responsibility with E. Merrick Dodd. Yet the world was inching closer to our contemporary one in terms of both business and technology in Berle’s later years and his work from this period deserves attention.


The Rise And Fall (?) Of The Berle–Means Corporation, Brian R. Cheffins Feb 2019

The Rise And Fall (?) Of The Berle–Means Corporation, Brian R. Cheffins

Seattle University Law Review

This Article forms part of the proceedings of the 10th Annual Berle Symposium (2018), which focused on Adolf Berle and the world he influenced. He and Gardiner Means documented in The Modern Corporation and Private Property (1932) what they said was a separation of ownership and control in major American business enterprises. Berle and Means became sufficiently closely associated with the separation of ownership and control pattern for the large American public firm to be christened subsequently the “Berle–Means corporation.” This Article focuses on the “rise” of the Berle–Means corporation, considering in so doing why ownership became divorced ...


The ‘Berle And Means Corporation’ In Historical Perspective, Eric Hilt Feb 2019

The ‘Berle And Means Corporation’ In Historical Perspective, Eric Hilt

Seattle University Law Review

This Article presents new evidence on the evolution of the business corporation in America and on the emergence of what is commonly termed the “Berle and Means corporation.” Drawing on a wide range of sources, I investigate three major historical claims of The Modern Corporation: that large corporations had displaced small ones by the early twentieth century; that the quasi-public corporations of the 1930s were much larger than the public corporations of the nineteenth century; and that ownership was separated from control to a much greater extent in the 1930s compared to the nineteenth century. I address each of these ...


On The Origins Of The Modern Corporation And Private Property, Bernard C. Beaudreau Feb 2019

On The Origins Of The Modern Corporation And Private Property, Bernard C. Beaudreau

Seattle University Law Review

The Modern Corporation and Private Property (MCPP) by Adolf A. Berle Jr. and Gardiner Means, published in 1932, is undisputedly the most influential work ever written in the field of corporate governance. In a nutshell, Berle and Means argued that corporate control had been usurped by a new class of managers, the result of which included (1) shareholder loss of control (a basic property right), (2) questionable corporate objectives and behavior, and (3) the potential breakdown of the market mechanism. In this paper, I examine the origins of MCPP, paying particular attention to the authors’ underlying motives. I argue that ...


Made For This Moment: The Enduring Relevance Of Adolf Berle’S Belief In A Global New Deal, Leo E. Strine Jr. Feb 2019

Made For This Moment: The Enduring Relevance Of Adolf Berle’S Belief In A Global New Deal, Leo E. Strine Jr.

Seattle University Law Review

At a time when the insecurity of working people in the United States and Europe is being exploited by nativist forces, the concept of a global New Deal is more relevant than ever. But, instead of a global New Deal, the predominant force in international trade in recent decades has been spreading pre-New Deal, laissez-faire approaches to markets, without extending with equal vigor the regulations essential to providing ordinary people economic security. Adolf Berle recognized that if the economy did not work for all, the worst impulses in humanity could be exploited by demagogues and authoritarians, having seen this first ...


Corporate Purpose And Litigation Risk In Publicly Held U.S. Benefit Corporations, Joan Macleod Heminway Apr 2017

Corporate Purpose And Litigation Risk In Publicly Held U.S. Benefit Corporations, Joan Macleod Heminway

Seattle University Law Review

With the likely prospect of publicly held U.S. benefit corporations in mind, this Article engages in a thought experiment. Specifically, the Article views the publicly held U.S. benefit corporation from the perspective of litigation risk. It first situates, in Part I, the U.S. benefit corporation in its structural and governance context as an incorporated business association. Corporate purpose and the attendant managerial authority, responsibilities, and fiduciary duties are the key points of reference. Then, in Part II, the Article seeks to identify and describe the salient, unique litigation risks that may be associated with publicly held corporations ...


A Critical Canadian Perspective On The Benefit Corporation, Carol Liao Apr 2017

A Critical Canadian Perspective On The Benefit Corporation, Carol Liao

Seattle University Law Review

Part I of this Article provides a brief background and description of the American benefit corporation. Part II then delineates the Canadian model of corporate law and governance as it currently stands in the statutes, common law, and in practice. Part III applies the information gathered from the previous two sections to explain why the legal features in the American benefit corporation model are largely redundant to existing Canadian corporate laws. It also addresses how the implementation of the benefit corporation in Canada would conflate incorrect assumptions on Canada’s model of governance and potentially impede the progressive development of ...


Bringing Continuity To Cryptocurrency: Commercial Law As A Guide To The Asset Categorization Of Bitcoin, Evan Hewitt Mar 2016

Bringing Continuity To Cryptocurrency: Commercial Law As A Guide To The Asset Categorization Of Bitcoin, Evan Hewitt

Seattle University Law Review

This Note will undertake to analyze bitcoin under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and the Internal Revenue Code (IRC)—two important sources of commercial law—to see whether any existing asset categories adequately protect bitcoin’s commercial viability. This Note will demonstrate that although commercial law dictates that bitcoin should—nay must—be regulated as a currency in order to sustain its existence, the very definition of currency seems to preclude that from happening. Therefore, this Note will recommend that we experiment with a new type of asset that receives currency-like treatment, specifically designed for cryptocurrencies, under which bitcoin can ...


Agency Theory As Prophecy: How Boards, Analysts, And Fund Managers Perform Their Roles, Jiwook Jung, Frank Dobbin Mar 2016

Agency Theory As Prophecy: How Boards, Analysts, And Fund Managers Perform Their Roles, Jiwook Jung, Frank Dobbin

Seattle University Law Review

In 1976, Michael Jensen and William Meckling published a paper reintroducing agency theory that explained how the modern corporation is structured to serve dispersed shareholders. They purported to describe the world as it exists but, in fact, they described a utopia, and their piece was read as a blueprint for that utopia. We take a page from the sociology of knowledge to argue that, in the modern world, economic theories function as prescriptions for behavior as much as they function as descriptions. Economists and management theorists often act as prophets rather than scientists, describing the world not as it is ...


Inevitable Imbalance: Why Ftc V. Actavis Was Inadequate To Solve The Reverse Payment Settlement Problem And Proposing A New Amendment To The Hatch-Waxman Act, Rachel A. Lewis Sep 2014

Inevitable Imbalance: Why Ftc V. Actavis Was Inadequate To Solve The Reverse Payment Settlement Problem And Proposing A New Amendment To The Hatch-Waxman Act, Rachel A. Lewis

Seattle University Law Review

The law regarding reverse payment settlements is anything but settled. Reverse payment settlements are settlements that occur during a patent infringement litigation in which a pharmaceutical patent holder pays a generic drug producer to not infringe on the pharmaceutical patent. Despite the recent decision by the United States Supreme Court in FTC v. Actavis, Inc., there are still unanswered questions about how the “full rule of reason” analysis will be applied to reverse payment. This Comment argues that despite the outcome in Actavis, the complex regulatory framework of the Hatch–Waxman Act will create repeated conflicts between antitrust law and ...


Evaluating The Performance And Accountability Of Regulators, Colin Scott Mar 2014

Evaluating The Performance And Accountability Of Regulators, Colin Scott

Seattle University Law Review

The global financial crisis came in the wake of significant reforms to the structures, processes, powers, and rules of the regulatory regimes for financial markets in many of the countries adversely affected by the crash. The global financial crisis came in the wake of significant reforms to the structures, processes, powers, and rules of the regulatory regimes for financial markets in many of the countries adversely affected by the crash. In this Article, I follow the logic of an argument that regulation necessarily has political dimensions, even where it may appear technical. I am asking questions about how we might ...


Culture Wars: Rate Manipulation, Institutional Corruption, And The Lost Normative Foundations Of Market Conduct Regulation, Justin O'Brien Mar 2014

Culture Wars: Rate Manipulation, Institutional Corruption, And The Lost Normative Foundations Of Market Conduct Regulation, Justin O'Brien

Seattle University Law Review

The global investigations into the manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) have raised significant questions about how conflicts of interest are managed for regulated entities contributing to benchmarks. An alternative framework, which brings the management of the rate process under direct regulatory supervision, is under consideration, coordinated by the International Organization of Securities Commissions taskforce. The articulation of global principles builds on a review commissioned by the British government that suggests rates calculated by submission can be reformed. This paper argues that this approach is predestined to fail, precisely because it ignores the lessons of history. In revisiting ...


The Timing And Source Of Regulation, Frank Partnoy Mar 2014

The Timing And Source Of Regulation, Frank Partnoy

Seattle University Law Review

The distinction between specific concrete rules and general abstract principles has engaged legal theorists for decades. This rules–principles distinction has also become increasingly important in corporate and securities law, as well as financial market regulation. This Article adds two important variables to the rules–principles debate: timing and source. Although these two variables are relevant to legal theory generally, the specific goal here is not to address and engage the rules versus principles literature directly. Rather, the goal here is to ask whether the debate about financial market regulation might benefit from a more transparent analysis of temporal and ...


Is The Independent Director Model Broken?, Roberta S. Karmel Mar 2014

Is The Independent Director Model Broken?, Roberta S. Karmel

Seattle University Law Review

At common law, an interested director was barred from participating in corporate decisions in which he had an interest, and therefore “dis-interested” directors became desirable. This concept of the disinterested director developed into the model of an “independent director” and was advocated by the Securities and Exchange Commission and court decisions as a general ideal in a variety of situations. This Article explores doubts regarding the model of an “independent director” and suggests that director expertise may be more important that director independence. The Article then discusses shareholder primacy and sets forth alternatives to the shareholder primacy theory of the ...


Deferred Prosecutions In The Corporate Sector: Lessons From Libor, Justin O'Brien, Olivia Dixon Mar 2014

Deferred Prosecutions In The Corporate Sector: Lessons From Libor, Justin O'Brien, Olivia Dixon

Seattle University Law Review

Since 2008, the global economic downturn has significantly in-creased operating pressures on major corporations. Additionally, there has been a corresponding increase in corporate tolerance for corruption, which has coincided with a marked preference by regulators in settling, rather than litigating, enforcement actions. This Article argues that the expansion of prosecutorial authority without appropriate accountability restraints is a major tactical and strategic error. It evaluates whether the mechanism can be made subject to effective oversight. It argues that the current frame-work in the United States is highly problematic, leading to settlements that generate newspaper headlines but not necessarily cultural change. It ...