Student Loans: Trading Your Life for a Degree

by Alexander Brendon Gura October 14 2012, 14:27
Many of today’s high school students are led to believe that, should they wish to be competitive in the job market, a bachelor’s degree, and often a post-graduate degree to boot, is necessary. Flocking to universities across the nation, America’s youth are betting against their uncertain futures and burying themselves under mountains of debt. Too often, these students find themselves overwhelmed after they have graduated and the bill collectors come knocking. [More]

2011 Bankruptcy Review: What Comes Down Must Go Up

by Jamie Netznik July 1 2012, 21:30
Approximately five years after the United States economy took a nosedive, analysts have started to note possible signs of an economic turnaround. Unemployment claims are at their lowest level since 2008. U.S. GDP is in its tenth consecutive growth quarter. American retail spending is increasing. Additionally, President Obama stated his confidence in continuing economic growth. However, where does the fact that 2011 business and consumer bankruptcy filings were down (as compared to 2010) fall? Whether it is another encouraging signal that the bad economy is on its way out or simply has no correlation, bankruptcy filings this past year have fallen across the board. [More]

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Regulating the PIPE Market: The Unintended Ripple Effects

by Claire Sheppard April 24 2012, 19:40
This week, the authors of SEC Enforcement in the PIPE Market: Actions and Consequences are presenting their paper at the CFA-FAJ-Schulich Conference on Fraud, Ethics and Regulation. Their work discusses the SEC’s early 2000s reforms affecting the PIPE (private investment in public equity) market. The SEC intended these reforms to “reduce the opportunities for investor stock price manipulation.” This article contends (and the paper hints) that the SEC’s efforts to crack down on this price manipulation not only had unintended deleterious effects on the PIPEs market but also had little impact on the intended target of the reforms—investor exploitation of companies seeking PIPE capital. [More]

Germany and Patents: All that Glitters isn't Gold

by Steven Benathen April 17 2012, 21:22
On April 2nd, Microsoft decided to move its European distribution center from Germany to the Netherlands. The decision was not the product of distribution logistics. Rather, Microsoft sought to avoid German patent law in advance of a pending April 17th opinion by the German patent courts. German patent law has made the country something of a patent shelter in Europe. Germany provides expedient decisions and easy-to-obtain injunctions that are hard to challenge for defendants. All that sounds fantastic until a corporation or small business is the target of those laws rather than the one benefitting. Furthermore, in these tough economic times, Germany’s patent regime has broad consequences for economic and technological development. [More]

Pretextual Wiretapping: Raj Rajaratnam and Perfect Hedge

by Steven Benathen February 16 2012, 19:46
What do Raj Rajaratnam and a mafioso have in common? Both have received similar treatment from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Rajaratnam’s recent conviction for securities fraud by way of insider trading came about through the use of evidence obtained by wiretapping. Wiretapping is a common technique used by the FBI to help build cases against members of organized crime under the Racketeer Influenced and Organized Crime Act (RICO). Referred to by the FBI as operation "Perfect Hedge," the United States has begun to use wiretapping to prosecute insider trading. The case of Raj Rajaratnam, which is currently on appeal in the Second Circuit, presents a tough dilemma: how far should we go in investigating and prosecuting alleged white collar criminals? [More]

What’s Mine is Yours: Takings After Kelo

by Jarrett Szczesny February 9 2012, 10:51
Security in ones’ property has been a fundamental tenant of our society since its inception. The Fifth Amendment enumerates this vital right and has served as a refuge against the government unjustly interfering with individual property rights for centuries. But, as judicial interpretation develops over time, a startling trend has emerged that could profoundly shape the future of the taking of private lands by the government. The landmark case of Kelo v. City of New London marked a radical shift in what could be construed as a legitimate taking based on a state’s police power. (1) This ruling has resulted in many states drafting new legislation in an attempt to temper the controversial ruling. (2) Regardless of how the legislature approaches the issue, it is clear that the takings landscape has fundamentally changed in ways that were unintended and unforeseen. Have we entered an age of disintegrating property rights? [More]

United States' Last Chance to Save Cotton Subsidies?

by Benjamin Sunshine February 2 2012, 13:02
Over the past ten years the United States has given about 24 billion dollars worth of cotton subsidies despite the fact that the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that United States cotton subsidies are illegal [More]

Cushioning the Impact of First to File for Small Businesses: The Provisional Patent Application

by Joseph Bozdech January 30 2012, 16:45
On September 16, 2011, President Obama signed into law the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (“AIA”), the most substantial change to patent law in the United States since the Patent Act of 1952 [More]

IBLJ Is Accepting Student Notes for Spring 2012

by Daniel Scheeringa January 27 2012, 13:55
All Illinois College of Law students in good standing are invited to submit a note to the Illinois Business Law Journal for evaluation and possible publication in the Spring 2012 online issue. [More]

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The Great Firewall of America: Is the United States on the Road to Becoming the Next Internet Villain?

by Cynthia Flores Porco January 16 2012, 20:36
In the past couple of months, two Congressional bills have been the subject of a heated debate between media industry giants and some of the world’s largest technology companies: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and its Senate counterpart the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). This legislation is meant to provide the Department of Justice and copyright holders with the ability to curb access to “rogue” foreign websites dedicated to infringing or counterfeit goods. Since the U.S. government does not have the power to take down foreign websites, this bill would grant it the ability to forbid Internet providers from allowing users to connect to those sites. While many entertainment and pharmaceutical companies are in support of these bipartisan bills, digitally oriented companies such as Google, Facebook, and Mozilla have publicly voiced their opposition. Although the problems the bill attempts to address – online piracy, copyright, and trademark infringement – are serious and present a number of enforcement challenges, this vaguely written, catch-all legislation is alarming in its reach. [More]

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