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Securities Law Commons

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Articles 1 - 30 of 1897

Full-Text Articles in Securities Law

Myth Of The Attorney Whistleblower, Carliss N. Chatman Jan 2020

Myth Of The Attorney Whistleblower, Carliss N. Chatman

SMU Law Review

Notwithstanding the political grandstanding and legal regimes put in place to prevent the next Enron, this article explores whether attorney whistleblower provisions provided in the Standards of Professional Con- duct for Attorneys Appearing and Practicing Before the Commission in the Representation of an Issuer and in the Model Rules of Professional Con- duct are effective. When faced with attorney involvement in Enron, Congress passed § 307 of the Sarbanes Oxley Act (Sarbanes), which required the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to amend its standards governing the conduct of attorneys practicing before the SEC. In response, the SEC and the American Bar ...


Mandatory Disclosure In Primary Markets, Andrew A. Schwartz Jan 2020

Mandatory Disclosure In Primary Markets, Andrew A. Schwartz

Utah Law Review

Mandatory disclosure—the idea that companies must be legally required to disclose certain, specified information to public investors—is the first principle of modern securities law. Despite the high costs it imposes, mandatory disclosure has been well defended by legal scholars on two theoretical grounds: ‘Agency costs’ and ‘information underproduction.’ While these two concepts are a good fit for secondary markets (where investors trade securities with one another), this Article shows that they are largely irrelevant in the context of primary markets (where companies offer securities directly to investors). The surprising result is that primary offerings—such as an IPO ...


Corporate Personhood: Possibilities For Progressive, Trans-Doctrinal Legal Reform, Aisha Ihab Saad Dec 2019

Corporate Personhood: Possibilities For Progressive, Trans-Doctrinal Legal Reform, Aisha Ihab Saad

Boston College Law Review

Kent Greenfield’s Corporations Are People Too (And They Should Act Like It) reclaims the legal theory of corporate personhood from the conservative right and champions it for the progressive left. Greenfield argues that corporate personhood, properly construed, can further progressive goals by limiting certain corporate powers, increasing corporate accountability, and enabling corporate management to govern in the interests of all stakeholders. Greenfield advances a progressive account of corporate personhood and elaborates its implementation in constitutional law and in corporate law. This symposium response extends Greenfield’s conception of corporate person-hood to related questions in securities law and tort law ...


A Practice Worth Ending: Eps Guidance Harming Long-Term Growth, Rachel G. Miller Dec 2019

A Practice Worth Ending: Eps Guidance Harming Long-Term Growth, Rachel G. Miller

Notre Dame Law Review

This Note focuses on one factor—earnings per share (EPS) guidance—that contributes to myopic behavior and short-termism within public companies. Part I discusses the history of the shareholder primacy norm and the need for management to act in the best interest of its shareholders. Additionally, this Part provides background on EPS guidance and the notion of short-termism. Part II lays out a framework for quarterly reporting and argues that the current disclosure requirements should remain intact. This Part addresses the importance of frequency in quarterly reporting and provides two examples—the United Kingdom and Regulation A—of practices with ...


Social Activism Through Shareholder Activism, Lisa M. Fairfax Nov 2019

Social Activism Through Shareholder Activism, Lisa M. Fairfax

Washington and Lee Law Review

This article is based on the author's keynote address at the 2018-2019 Lara D. Gass Annual Symposium: Civil Rights and Shareholder Activism at Washington and Lee University School of Law, February 15, 2019.

In 1952, the SEC altered the shareholder proposal rule to exclude proposals made “primarily for the purpose of promoting general economic, political, racial, religious, social or similar causes.” The SEC did not reference civil rights activist James Peck or otherwise acknowledge that its actions were prompted by Peck’s 1951 shareholder proposal to Greyhound for desegregating seating. Instead, the SEC indicated that its change simply reflected ...


From Public Policy To Materiality: Non-Financial Reporting, Shareholder Engagement, And Rule 14a-8’S Ordinary Business Exception, Virginia Harper Ho Nov 2019

From Public Policy To Materiality: Non-Financial Reporting, Shareholder Engagement, And Rule 14a-8’S Ordinary Business Exception, Virginia Harper Ho

Washington and Lee Law Review

This article builds upon the author's remarks at the 2018-2019 Lara D. Gass Annual Symposium: Civil Rights and Shareholder Activism at Washington and Lee University School of Law, February 15, 2019.

In 2017, shareholder proposals urging corporate boards to report on their climate-related risk made headlines when they earned majority support from investors at ExxonMobil, Occidental Petroleum, and PPL. The key to this historic vote was the support of Blackrock, State Street, and Vanguard, which broke with management and cast their votes behind the proposals. The 2018 proxy season saw several more climate-related proposals earn majority support, and in ...


Chancery’S Greatest Decision: Historical Insights On Civil Rights And The Future Of Shareholder Activism, Omari Scott Simmons Nov 2019

Chancery’S Greatest Decision: Historical Insights On Civil Rights And The Future Of Shareholder Activism, Omari Scott Simmons

Washington and Lee Law Review

This article builds upon the author's remarks at the 2018-2019 Lara D. Gass Annual Symposium: Civil Rights and Shareholder Activism at Washington and Lee University School of Law, February 15, 2019.

Shareholder activism—using an equity stake in a corporation to influence management—has become a popular tool to effectuate social change in the twenty-first century. Increasingly, activists are looking beyond financial performance to demand better corporate performance in such areas as economic inequality, civil rights, human rights, discrimination, and diversity. These efforts take many forms: publicity campaigns, litigation, proxy battles, shareholder resolutions, and negotiations with corporate management. However ...


The Social Costs Of Dividends And Share Repurchases, J.B. Heaton Oct 2019

The Social Costs Of Dividends And Share Repurchases, J.B. Heaton

The Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship & the Law

A long-held view in the academy is that shareholders are "residual claimants” in the sense that shareholders are paid in full only after the corporation pays its creditors. The reality on the ground is far different. Corporations give assets away to their shareholders long before they have satisfied creditors, both voluntary contract creditors and involuntary tort creditors. In particular, existing U.S. corporate and voidable transfer laws allow corporations to pay dividends and make share repurchases up to the point where the corporation is insolvent or nearly so. Voluntary creditors can limit dividends and share repurchases by contract, but involuntary ...


Crashing The Boards: A Comparative Analysis Of The Boxing Out Of Women On Boards In The United States And Canada, Diana C. Nicholls Mutter Oct 2019

Crashing The Boards: A Comparative Analysis Of The Boxing Out Of Women On Boards In The United States And Canada, Diana C. Nicholls Mutter

The Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship & the Law

This paper will first provide a critical, comparative look at the Canadian and the federal American responses to the under-representation of women on boards of large, publicly traded corporations. There will be a discussion about the competing conceptions which emerge in addressing the regulation of women on boards in the United States and Canada and why each jurisdiction implemented its policy when it did. The conceptions arising out of questions about under-representation of women on boards tend to fall within two categories: business case rationales and normative rationales. Given the competing conceptions of this issue, this paper will attempt to ...


Direct Listing: How Spotify Is Streaming On The Nyse And Why The Sec Should Press Play, Cody L. Lipke Oct 2019

Direct Listing: How Spotify Is Streaming On The Nyse And Why The Sec Should Press Play, Cody L. Lipke

The Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship & the Law

This Note proposes that given Spotify’s successful launch on the NYSE, direct listings will become increasingly popular—primarily for start-ups but also as an exit strategy for VC and PE firms in their nonpublic investments. Part II of this Note will discuss the process of “going public” via an IPO or a direct listing. Part III will use Spotify as an illustrative example of the direct listing process. Part IV will consider the advantages and disadvantages of direct listing. Part V will conclude that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or the Commission) should embrace the direct listing process ...


Breaking Up The Focus On Relationships For Nonpecuniary Insider Trading Personal Benefits, Bradley Larkin Oct 2019

Breaking Up The Focus On Relationships For Nonpecuniary Insider Trading Personal Benefits, Bradley Larkin

Fordham Law Review

In 1983, the U.S. Supreme Court adopted the “personal benefit” requirement as an objective test for insider trading to help determine when confidential information is tipped for an improper purpose. Under this test, a tipper acts improperly by receiving a personal benefit for sharing confidential, nonpublic information, even if the tipper does not trade using the information. For instance, when a tipper leaks confidential information to a trading friend or relative, the tipper benefits personally because this amounts to trading on the confidential information and then gifting the profits. The personal benefit requirement is applied differently among the circuits ...


Table Of Contents, Seattle University Law Review Sep 2019

Table Of Contents, Seattle University Law Review

Seattle University Law Review

No abstract provided.


Securities Treatment Of Tokenized Offerings Under U.S. Law, Carol Goforth Jun 2019

Securities Treatment Of Tokenized Offerings Under U.S. Law, Carol Goforth

Pepperdine Law Review

This article considers how the SEC currently approaches the question of regulating cryptoassets and ICOs. It includes a brief overview and history of cryptotransactions (including problems of terminology), and then looks at the current crypto space to consider the kinds of interests being promoted today in comparison to Bitcoin and the original altcoins. It then examines the traditional approach taken by the SEC with regard to these interests and explains briefly the kinds of compliant offerings that are currently possible. It then covers the range of reasons why a specialized regulatory approach is called for, rather than simply relying on ...


A Security By Any Other Name: An Inquiry Into Staking Agreements As Securities, Jacob D. Crawley Jun 2019

A Security By Any Other Name: An Inquiry Into Staking Agreements As Securities, Jacob D. Crawley

UNLV Gaming Law Journal

No abstract provided.


Entity Wagering And The Dream Of Making Las Vegas The Wall Street Of The West, Theresa Guerra Jun 2019

Entity Wagering And The Dream Of Making Las Vegas The Wall Street Of The West, Theresa Guerra

UNLV Gaming Law Journal

No abstract provided.


Requiring Broker-Dealers To Disclose Conflicts Of Interest: A Solution Protecting And Empowering Investors, Daniel P. Guernsey Jr. May 2019

Requiring Broker-Dealers To Disclose Conflicts Of Interest: A Solution Protecting And Empowering Investors, Daniel P. Guernsey Jr.

University of Miami Law Review

Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (“Dodd-Frank”) instructed the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) to analyze the gaps in the regulatory regimes of investment advisers and broker-dealers. After analyzing the differences between the two regimes, the SEC proposed a rule that essentially created a fiduciary duty for broker-dealers equivalent to that of investment advisers. In theory, a uniform fiduciary duty would increase investor protection; however, such a drastic overhaul of broker-dealer regulation has attendant consequences. Indeed, as seen from the federal government’s previous attempts to create a broker-dealer fiduciary duty, increasing broker-dealer regulatory requirements limits ...


The Ever-Changing Scope Of Insider Trading Liability For Tippees In The Second Circuit, Sari Rosenfeld May 2019

The Ever-Changing Scope Of Insider Trading Liability For Tippees In The Second Circuit, Sari Rosenfeld

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

Liability under insider trading law continues to change as federal courts attempt to find new ways to hold insiders liable under the law. As recently as two years ago, the Second Circuit—in analyzing past decisions regarding tipper-tippee insider trading violations—blurred the distinction between legal and illegal insider trading when it fundamentally altered the idea of “personal benefit.” These various decisions provide the basis for antifraud provisions of securities law applying to insider trading, the consequences of which can be detrimental. This Note will discuss the standard that the Second Circuit uses to hold tippees liable for insider trading ...


Activist Shareholders At De Facto Controlled Companies, Gaia Balp May 2019

Activist Shareholders At De Facto Controlled Companies, Gaia Balp

Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial & Commercial Law

Activist campaigns are likely to increasingly target controlled companies. Studies concerning activism at controlled companies focus on shareholder-empowering tools, such as the right to nominate and elect minority directors on the board, as a pathway for limiting the principal-principal agency problem. However, not enough attention has been paid to the distinction between de jure and de facto controlled companies. Building on a recent case concerning a leading Italian corporation, this Article analyzes the possible unexpected corporate governance consequences of successful activist intervention at de facto controlled companies, showing that, where minority shareholders are granted the right to appoint directors on ...


Global Standards For Securities Holding Infrastructures: A Soft Law/Fintech Model For Reform, Charles W. Mooney Jr. May 2019

Global Standards For Securities Holding Infrastructures: A Soft Law/Fintech Model For Reform, Charles W. Mooney Jr.

Michigan Journal of International Law

This Article outlines a “soft-law-to-hard-law” approach for the development and implementation of reforms to systems for the holding of publicly traded securities. It proposes the development of global standards for securities holding systems (“Global Standards”), to be led by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (the “IOSCO”). This approach contemplates that States would be encouraged and expected to implement the Global Standards by adopting “hard law” reforms through statutory and regulatory adjustments to their securities holding systems as well as modifications of the architecture of their securities holding systems. The successes of past IOSCO initiatives inspire this Article’s proposal ...


Securities Disclosure As Soundbite: The Case Of Ceo Pay Ratios, Steven A. Bank, George S. Georgiev Apr 2019

Securities Disclosure As Soundbite: The Case Of Ceo Pay Ratios, Steven A. Bank, George S. Georgiev

Boston College Law Review

This Article analyzes the history, design, and effectiveness of the highly controversial CEO pay ratio disclosure rule, which went into effect in 2018. Based on a regulatory mandate contained in the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, the rule requires public companies to disclose the ratio between CEO pay and median worker pay as part of their annual filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The seven-year rulemaking process was politically contentious and generated a level of public engagement that was virtually unprecedented in the long history of the SEC disclosure regime. The SEC sought to minimize compliance costs by providing ...


Could Distributed Ledger Shares Lead To An Increase In Stockholder-Approved Mergers And Subsequently An Increase In Exercise Of Appraisal Rights?, Alyson Brown Apr 2019

Could Distributed Ledger Shares Lead To An Increase In Stockholder-Approved Mergers And Subsequently An Increase In Exercise Of Appraisal Rights?, Alyson Brown

William & Mary Business Law Review

Blockchain, the distributed ledger technology underlying cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, is poised to revolutionize industries and processes across disciplines. In particular, government agencies and companies are looking for ways to leverage blockchain’s efficiencies to facilitate safe record-keeping. Municipalities are employing blockchain-issued deeds to accurately record property ownership. Progressive legal professionals are employing blockchainissued “smart-contracts” to more accurately record contract terms. Intellectual property attorneys and related government agencies are researching blockchain-issued copyrights and patents.

This Note examines how utilizing blockchain technology in securities trading to maintain accurate stockholder ledgers will allow for current market forces to be reflected in stockholder voting ...


Energy Re-Investment, Hari M. Osofsky, Jacqueline Peel, Brett H. Mcdonnell, Anita Foerster Apr 2019

Energy Re-Investment, Hari M. Osofsky, Jacqueline Peel, Brett H. Mcdonnell, Anita Foerster

Indiana Law Journal

Despite worsening climate change threats, investment in energy—in the United States and globally—is dominated by fossil fuels. This Article provides a novel analysis of two pathways in corporate and securities law that together have the potential to shift patterns of energy investment.

The first pathway targets current investments and corporate decision-making. It includes efforts to influence investors to divest from owning shares in fossil fuel companies and to influence companies to address climate change risks in their internal decision-making processes. This pathway has received increasing attention, especially in light of the Paris Agreement and the Trump Administration’s ...


Can Bad Law Do Good? A Retrospective On Conflict Minerals Regulation, Karen E. Woody Apr 2019

Can Bad Law Do Good? A Retrospective On Conflict Minerals Regulation, Karen E. Woody

Maryland Law Review

Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (“Dodd-Frank”) created a novel approach to corporate social responsibility (“CSR”) in supply chains by requiring public companies to disclose the presence of conflict minerals in their products. Dodd-Frank, as a whole, has faced a barrage of criticism since its passage, and Section 1502 was not immune from intense critical backlash. As I argued in prior scholarship and congressional testimony, Section 1502 was ill-conceived in substance and form. Its application resulted in the improper use of securities laws to the detriment of its laudable public international law ...


The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy F: Introduction To The Isda Master Agreement, Christian M. Mcnamara, Andrew Metrick Mar 2019

The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy F: Introduction To The Isda Master Agreement, Christian M. Mcnamara, Andrew Metrick

Journal of Financial Crises

When Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc. (LBHI) sought Chapter 11 protection, the more than 6,000 counterparties with which its subsidiaries had entered into over 900,000 over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives transactions faced the question of how best to respond to protect their interests. The existence of standardized documentation developed by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) for entering into such transactions meant that the counterparties likely thought that they were dealing with a well-defined and robust set of options in answering this question. Yet, in practice, the resolution of Lehman’s OTC derivatives portfolio ended up being less orderly than ...


The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy E: The Effects On Lehman’S U.S. Broker-Dealer, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Andrew Metrick Mar 2019

The Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy E: The Effects On Lehman’S U.S. Broker-Dealer, Rosalind Z. Wiggins, Andrew Metrick

Journal of Financial Crises

Lehman’s U.S. broker-dealer, Lehman Brothers Inc. (LBI), was excluded from the parent company’s bankruptcy filing on September 15, 2008, because it was thought that the solvent subsidiary might be able to wind down its affairs in a normal fashion. However, the force of the parent’s demise proved too strong, and within days, LBI and dozens of Lehman subsidiaries around the world were also in liquidation. As a regulated broker-dealer, LBI was required to comply with the Securities and Exchange Commission financial-responsibility rules for broker-dealers, including maintaining customer assets separately. However, the corporate complexity and enterprise integration ...


When The Same Words Mean Different Things: Varjabedian V. Emulex Corp., And The Requirements Of Section 14(E) Of The Exchange Act, Isaac Lederman Mar 2019

When The Same Words Mean Different Things: Varjabedian V. Emulex Corp., And The Requirements Of Section 14(E) Of The Exchange Act, Isaac Lederman

Boston College Law Review

On April 20, 2018, in Varjabedian v. Emulex Corp., the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that Section 14(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 requires only a showing of negligence, not scienter, to establish a violation. The Ninth Circuit derived that requirement from the fact that Section 14(e) resembles Section 17(a)(2) of the Securities Act of 1933. In reaching this conclusion, the Ninth Circuit split with all the other courts to consider this question. The Second, Third, Fifth, Sixth, and Eleventh Circuits had previously held that Section 14(e) shares ...


Duty Or No Duty? That Is The Question: The Second Circuit Reasserts That A Violation Of Item 303'S Duty To Disclose Can Establish Liability Under Section 10(B), Rebecca Rabinowitz Feb 2019

Duty Or No Duty? That Is The Question: The Second Circuit Reasserts That A Violation Of Item 303'S Duty To Disclose Can Establish Liability Under Section 10(B), Rebecca Rabinowitz

Boston College Law Review

On March 29, 2016, in Indiana Public Retirement Systems v. SAIC, Inc., the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reaffirmed its earlier conclusion that a violation of the duty to disclose imposed on publicly traded companies by Item 303 of Regulation S-K can constitute a violation of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. In so doing, the Second Circuit directly conflicted with a decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Cohen v. NVIDIA Corp. (In re NVIDIA Corp. Securities Litigation), despite the fact that both courts relied upon ...


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 ...