Law Firms: It’s Getting Easier to Be Green

by Karen Lee March 11 2008, 00:29
I. Introduction



The current surge in environmental awareness is affecting the way our nation does business, across a variety of industries. [1] The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes has come to the unequivocal conclusion that our planet is getting hotter, and former Vice President Al Gore’s popular documentary on global warming has helped to create awareness about environmental issues. [2] Beyond any altruism towards the environment, law firms are discovering that like any other business, they can ultimately profit by taking steps that benefit the environment. [3] This article explores the legal industry's negative impact on the environment, and examines the nature and origin of the sustainability, or “green,” movement throughout law firms today. [More]

SBA Proposes Limitations on Set-Asides to Women-Owned Small Businesses

by Elizabeth Rodgers February 18 2008, 10:28
On January 30th, 2008 women's groups rallied in protest at a hearing held by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, chaired by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass), regarding the Small Business Administration's (SBA) recent proposal to limit set-asides to women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) in federal contracting. These set-asides would be limited to four out of some 140 possible sectors in which women were underrepresented, as indicated by a recent RAND Corporation study. [1] Among the groups involved were the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Women Business Owners. According to Margot Dorfman, executive director of the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce, the RAND data can also be read to show that 87% of industrial sectors are underrepresented by WOSBs. [2] [More]

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Corporate

Scheme Liability: Devastating, Problematic, Obsolete

by Dominique Carrol February 12 2008, 08:35
I. Capital Markets



With "more than half of all U.S. households," previously assessed at $57 million, participating in equity markets through "investments either directly in securities or indirectly in mutual funds" the need to maintain investor confidence is paramount. [1] Ways of maintaining investor confidence include enforcing strict compliance with established auditing, disclosure, and financial reporting requirements. [2] Furthermore, allowing adequate remedies at law for violations of securities law promotes investor confidence in the capital markets. However, investors seeking private class action lawsuits against potential defendants such as lawyers, banks, and accountants alleged to have aided and abetted securities fraud face a substantial impediment.



In a recent 5-3 decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled in the case of Stoneridge Investment Partners, LLC v. Scientific-Atlanta, Inc. [3] Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Samuel Alito, Justice Antonin Scalia, and Justice Clarence Thomas. While it is clear that the majority affirmed the judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, the future is unclear for investors wishing to bring class action suits under the theory of so-called "scheme liability." [More]

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Corporate

La Grande Illusion

by Patrick Schuette February 8 2008, 15:21
I. La Règle du Jeu



Société Générale SA (“SocGen”) seemed poised to become one of the strongest and most well-respected financial institutions in Europe. In April 2007, they had acquired 75% of Banka Popullore in Albania.[1] Their stock, listed on the Euronext, reached an all-time high of $158.42 a share on May 4, 2007, shortly following the acquisition of Banka Popullore. Their performance heading into 2008 had been so strong that Risk Magazine named SocGen the Equity Derivatives House of the Year.[2] Risk Magazine noted that SocGen has handled the recent volatility in the market effectively through the use of innovation and risk management.[3]



Despite these accolades and accomplishments, SocGen has spiraled downhill since the start of the New Year. This article will examine how a rogue trader nearly brought SocGen to its knees, why lax banking controls allowed it to happen, and how it can be prevented in the future. [More]

Multidisciplinary Practices: Unethical or Inevitable?

by Karen Lee February 5 2008, 00:31
I. Introduction



Multidisciplinary practices, or MDPs, have long been the subject of acrimonious debate between two opposing campaigns, each citing passionate reasons for why the organizational structure should be formally established or definitively barred. [1] Multidisciplinary practice refers to a professional entity in which lawyers partner with non-lawyers to provide a mix of legal and non-legal services. Efficiency and innovation by this new structure is dampened with fears of conflicts of interest and dilution of privilege. The crucial question as acerbically couched by one scholar has been “whether client and public interests are best served by ethics rules that preclude innovation in joint service delivery enterprises among lawyers and other professionals.” [2] [More]

The Format Wars

by Patrick Schuette November 28 2007, 15:45
I. The Phantom Menace for Consumers



High Definition Television (HDTV) was first demonstrated to the public in 1969 and made commercially available in the mid-1990s.[1] However, upon being made commercially available, HDTV created a problem for consumers who wished to record and watch movies. In 1998, more than 90% of households in the United States had a videocassette recorder (VCR).[2] At the time, most of those VCRs recorded in an analog format, rather than in a digital format.[3] Analog media formats have lower image and sound qualities than digital media formats.[4] While consumers would be able to watch videocassettes on their HDTVs, they would not be utilizing the high definition technology to its fullest. A digital media format needed to come into the marketplace that could cheaply and effectively record and play high definition programming. However, instead of one format establishing itself, two formats have fought to become the next established standard. This article will examine how these formats have developed and progressed, the legal problems that have arisen out of the conflict between these two formats, and what this conflict might mean for consumers. [More]

Analyzing the Beer Market

by Patrick Schuette November 1 2007, 01:23
I. Introduction



On Tuesday, October 9th, London-based SABMiller and Denver-based Molson Coors announced they would be combining their brewing operations in the United States, creating a brewer called MillerCoors.[1] This move is the latest in a growing consolidation trend among the brewers of the world’s beer. In 2002, South African Breweries purchased Miller Brewing from Philip Morris, forming SABMiller.[2] Molson Coors was formed in 2004 when Molson, a Canadian brewer, merged with Adolph Coors.[3] Earlier this year, Anheuser-Busch announced that it would be importing Czechvar Beer, brewed by the Czech state-run brewery Budejovicky Budvar NP[4] into the United States despite a century-long legal battle over the Budweiser name[5] Most recently, Scotch & Newcastle, the U.K.’s largest brewer, is receiving numerous takeover bids from other major brewers.[6] [More]

Economically Reprehensible Behavior, or Benefits and Risks of Morality? (2 of 2)

by Naureen Amjad October 31 2007, 19:02
I. Introduction



This second article in the series first identifies past assumptions of the traditional investment model. Possible additional benefits and drawbacks of morally responsible investing (MRI) as compared to the traditional model are pointed out along the way. Finally, future legal issues that MRI may raise are identified, and the court’s likely treatment of such issues is hypothesized. [More]

Economically Reprehensible Behavior, or Benefits and Risks of Morality? (2 of 2)

by Naureen Amjad October 31 2007, 15:19
Introduction:


This second article in the series first identifies past assumptions of the traditional investment model. Possible additional benefits and drawbacks of morally responsible investing (MRI) as compared to the traditional model are pointed out along the way. Finally, future legal issues that MRI may raise are identified, and the court’s likely treatment of such issues is hypothesized. [More]

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Corporate

Billable Hours Be Gone: Should the Hourly Billing System Be Replaced?

by Stacia Weber October 24 2007, 23:11
I. Introduction



Law firms have adjusted to recent generations of associates that demand a better quality of life in conjunction with their careers. [1] A young lawyer wants it all: a successful career, a family, and time for a social-life outside the office. "Work/life balance" has become a buzzword for firms attempting to recruit the best and brightest. Some firms have responded to the needs of working parents who prioritize childrearing by offering reduced and alternative working schedules. [2] Others allow associates to bill some of their time to pro bono work, which increases the esteem of the profession [3] in addition to satiating a young associate's need to make a difference. While programs such as these move toward the much sought after "work/life balance." they may not be enough to truly achieve a happy, well-balanced life. [More]

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Corporate | Labor

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