Why Lawyers Should Know More About Antitrust Regulations

by Isabel Freitas Peres November 30 2009, 02:06
Antitrust law is usually understood as applying to companies and their products. The incentives for assuring competition among companies have not limited the function of antitrust law. Antitrust law has developed its application to beyond those players in the market. Now, lawyers and bar associations also have to watch out for antitrust regulation. The American Bar Association has been under pressure to lighten up several of its rules in order to allow multidisciplinary firms to evolve.[1]

The application of antitrust law to lawyers will be discussed in this article. Part I discusses if the definition of “trade” applies to professional services for the purpose of antitrust regulation. Is the discussion of regulation related to horizontal agreements or legislation? If it is legislation (for example, laws establishing bar associations), it is out of the scope of antitrust law. Part II brings the European and also an economic approach to this matter giving more light to the discussion of what are the consequences of the direct application of antitrust law to lawyers. Part III recommends that lawyers should not be exempt from antitrust regulation. The formation of collusion and price fixing exists among this profession as well as in other areas and should be regulated. However, the existence of an exam to evaluate the quality of lawyers is not an anticompetitive behavior limiting entrance on the market, but it is a correction of the market that should exist to inform prospective clients. Part IV provides concluding thoughts on the regulation of attorneys [More]

Jurisdictional Competition in a Developing Economy: Law and Policy Issues of the Offshore Structure Use in Russia

by Maria Kuzmina November 30 2009, 01:47
Someone might view the economic crisis times as the best period to broaden one’s business horizons and invest into a new market. The fast growing markets such as China, Brazil, India and to some extent Russia are waiting for new investors. Russia, having more than 140 million inhabitants, i.e. potential consumers, and abundant natural resources remains mostly neglected by investors in many business fields. For decades Russian market was viewed as not a place for those faint-of-heart. Now the growth of political stability and positive developments in legislation make the investment less risky and more attractive. Nevertheless, the still existing differences between local and internationally recognized legislative frameworks and court practices make investors wonder if there is any possibility to opt out of the Russian legal rules.
This article will explore the reasons behind Russian corporate norms that explain the inflexibility of current legislation and court practice and discuss views on future development of the corporate law system of the country. Part II introduces an overview of the policy issues behind the corporate law created specifically for Russia as a developing economy. Part III analyzes the legislation and its drawbacks, provides advice for investors who for various reasons want to opt out of Russian law. Part IV discusses the reasons for the government amending the corporate law, gives a forecast of future developments and provides a general conclusion. [More]

Astroturf Lobbying Organizations: Do Fake Grassroots Need Real Regulation

by Henry Young November 3 2009, 02:24
Astroturf lobbying organizations – lobbying organizations that use money to appear as if they have popular support – challenge citizens and law makers to find accurate information about policy issues. However, limiting a right as integral to our democracy as speech should never be done hastily. Additionally, past similar regulation failed to accomplish its goals and spurred the creation of 527 groups that negatively affected electoral politics. By learning from past regulatory failure we can better regulate Astroturf lobbying organizations. Requiring frequent and detailed financial disclosures from groups that have large bank accounts but small membership rolls leaves political speech undisturbed while giving people and politicians access to the information necessary to weigh the quality of the information offered and arguments made by these organizations. [More]



Health Care Reform: Whether it Means a Break For Small Business?

by Zina Kiryakos November 2 2009, 16:42
This article provides an overview of the main goals of President Obama’s plan for health care reform as well as the two proposed Senate bills, Senate Bill 1679 and 1796, and the House of Representatives bill that passed, House Bill 3962, as it relates to small business. Small businesses are facing the steep rising costs of health insurance premiums to add to their current burdens of dealing with the recession’s credit freeze and lower revenue generation with other high operating costs. This article provides analysis on the pros and cons of health care reform in relation to small businesses based on three aspects of the health care reform proposals. The first is the public option government run health care plan, second is the Exchange a government-regulated marketplace of insurance plans, and finally, tax credits for small businesses to offset the cost of buying health insurance for their employees. Finally, the article provides a brief review of the response from the insurance industry based on their reports highlighting the potential new costs of health care for small businesses if reform passes. [More]



Who Shut Off the A/C?: Turning Up the Heat on Corporate Attorneys and the Attorney Client Privilege

by Julian Watkins October 12 2009, 09:43
The Bank of American (BofA) and Merrill Lynch merger is a very complicated litigation. The case is under review by the SEC, Congress' Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the New York attorney general. In its investigation with Congress, BofA is not allowed to invoke the attorney-client privilege. Since the attorney-client privilege only survives if withheld from all third parties, BofA might be forced to waive the attorney client is the concurrent investigations. This article will discuss the background of the BofA/Merrill Lynch merger, the dismissal of a settlement offer by BofA to the SEC and the effect it will have on the attorney-client privilege between corporate attorneys and their clients in the future. [More]



R.I.P. Vanilla Dreams, You Will Be Missed

by Sae Bom Yoon October 10 2009, 11:30
I. Introduction

In smoke-filled rooms, Big Tobacco executives are patting themselves on their backs while local smoke shops and flavored-cigarette aficionados are increasingly disgruntled by the loss of their Djarum cloves, Cherry Jubilee and Vanilla Dreams. The ban was introduced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an important step in curbing cigarette use among teenagers, branding flavored cigarettes as a “gateway for many children and young adults to become regular smokers.” [1] However, as the ban approaches is second week of implementation, gaping loopholes within the prohibition has left the ban to open attack by others. [2] This paper will attempt to cast doubt on the effectiveness of the recent ban on teenage smoking cessation efforts, showing that the tobacco products favored by teenagers are not affected by the ban. Consequently, this paper will argue that the ban will mainly profit major U.S. cigarette producers, Phillip Morris USA, Lorillard and Reynolds American Inc., allowing them to further monopolize the tobacco market under the guise of federal regulation. [More]



The Impact of the Financial Crisis on Nonprofits

by Zina Kiryakos September 20 2009, 18:36
This article reviews the importance of non-profits to the American economy and statistics regarding the financial struggles of non-profits during the current recession. The article provides background as to some of the causes for the decline in donations to non-profits, such as less contribution from bank and corporate executives as well as a decrease in individual donations. Additionally explored are the findings and statistics from reports and surveys that provide an overview of the current financial struggle for many non-profits. Furthermore, issues such as ways in which non-profits are coping with the impact of the current financial crisis on their operations and customers are explored, culminating in a demonstration of resilience on the part of many non-profits even in the face of tough times. Finally, this article provides insight into advice from the legal community regarding steps lawyers should take when counseling such non-profits as well as providing a recommendation and conclusion as to the steps those non-profits should keep in mind while coping through the recession. [More]



Plug the Leak: Employee Turnover- A Consequence of Discriminatory Behavior?

by Amanda Pintaro September 20 2009, 18:06
What does employee turnover look like these days? Well, much like pouring liquid into a sieve- analogous to employees passing through a company much too rapidly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which collects and compiles monthly data on a sampling of business establishments, the total number of employees who left their jobs exceeded those being hired from July 2008 through June 2009. “Over the 12 months ending in June, hires totaled 51.8 million and separations totaled 57.1 million, yielding a net employment loss of 5.3 million.” The increasing problem of employee turnover seems to revolve around two vital issues. Companies do not fully understand what causes employee turnover, and they do not know how to go about correcting the problem. This article will discuss: 1) the costs and causes of employee turnover; 2) the methods by which different companies have approached the problem; and 3) how excessive employee turnover can be a direct result of conscious or unconscious discriminatory behavior by employers. [More]

M & A’s- I’ll Drink to That

by Gary Klinger April 10 2009, 11:32

I. Introduction

Amidst the economic downturn over the world, many industries have seen a stunt in growth. In fact, during recessions, often consolidation among competing businesses within an industry is the only alternative to extinction. This is evidenced in the banking industry (i.e. Merrill Lynch sold to Bank of America in order to avoid bankruptcy) [1] as well the auto industry (i.e. Government gives Chrysler thirty day deadline to merge with Fiat). [2] Yet, in recent years, it is the beer industry that has seen more mergers and acquisitions than arguably any other sector. This article will discuss the reasoning behind the consolidation within the industry, examine the strategic approaches taken in the industry when merging with or acquiring a competitor, and finally, the future of mergers and acquisitions (M&A’s) within the brewing industry. [More]

Nationalized Treasure

by Patrick Schuette April 6 2009, 05:24
I. Introduction

On February 27, 2009, the United States government announced that it was taking measures that could result in it taking as much as a 36% equity stake in Citigroup, Inc.[1] This would make the federal government the largest shareholder in Citibank.[2] By converting $25 billion in preferred shares into common stock, the federal government hoped that the move would stabilize Citibank in a tumultuous market.[3] As a result of this move, a number of people have voiced a growing concern over the federal government taking further steps to nationalize other major financial institutions.[4] [More]

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