Associate Professor of Clinical Legal Education Jennifer Baum is speaking on a panel at Fordham Law School’s Eighteenth Annual Conference on Domestic Violence today, Monday, March 3, 2014. The panel, “Post Separation Abuse: The Use and Impact of the Hague Convention During International Custody Disputes,” will address the rights of abuse survivors and their children under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Professor Baum, the Director of the St. John’s School of Law Child Advocacy Clinic, is appearing as an expert on children’s rights and remedies in international custody cases involving allegations of domestic violence.
Baum Speaks on Children’s Rights and Remedies in International Custody Cases at Domestic Violence Conference
Christine Lazaro, Acting Director of the Law School’s Securities Arbitration Clinic, will publish her article, Has Expungement Broken BrokerCheck?, in MSU Journal of Business and Securities Law. Here’s an abstract:
Stockbrokers are subject to one of the most comprehensive public disclosure regimes. They must disclose substantial information about their backgrounds, their employment history, and their disciplinary history. FINRA, the self-regulatory organization that regulates the brokerage industry, also requires that brokers disclose customer complaints and makes much of this information available to the public through an online database called BrokerCheck. The allegations of wrongdoing remain on the broker’s record permanently, unless the broker succeeds at having customer dispute information expunged. The broker is able to accomplish this by requesting that the arbitration panel that hears the customer dispute grant expungement, and then seeking confirmation of the arbitration award.
This paper examines the rules governing brokers’ reporting requirements and the process whereby customer dispute information may be expunged from brokers’ records. There are a number of significant flaws with the current expungement process. These flaws raise concerns about the integrity of the information made available through BrokerCheck. Indeed, State regulators have attempted to intervene at the arbitration award confirmation stage to prevent information from being expunged from the system. Thus far, these attempts and have been largely unsuccessful. The system’s flaws also become apparent when customers settle disputes. In those cases, when customers do not oppose a broker’s request for expungement, arbitration panels routinely grant the broker’s request.
To address these issues, I suggest that FINRA must continue its efforts to prevent brokers from bargaining for non-opposition to expungement requests as a condition of settlement. Customers should be permitted to oppose a request for expungement even if they have settled their underlying claim with the broker. I also argue that that FINRA’s arbitrator training may be ineffective as it is apparent arbitrators are disregarding the high standards governing expungement. Accordingly, FINRA should implement procedures and tighter controls to ensure arbitrators are following the rules governing expungement.
Yesterday, Janai S. Nelson, Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty Scholarship, was a panelist at a forum at Seton Hall University School of Law entitled, Post-Shelby World: Has Section 5 Outlived Its Purpose? Professor Nelson discussed the Shelby County v. Holder decision, current voter suppression efforts, and the proposed Voting Rights Act Amendment of 2014.
Francis Facciolo, Assistant Director of the Securities Arbitration Clinic and Professor of Legal Writing, published an article, Exculpatory Clauses, in the February 2014 issue of The Investment Lawyer. The article was co-authored with Professor Facciolo’s former student and St. John’s law school alum, Leland Solon ’10, who is currently an associate at the Law Firm of Gary N. Weintraub, LLP.
Here’s an excerpt of the article:
This article describes how the SEC’s posi- tion on hedge clauses has evolved in light of the IAA’s anti-fraud provisions, culminating in the 2007 no-action letter of Heitman Capital Management, LLC,4 which granted new and unexpected leeway to advisers. In Heitman Capital, the SEC stated that it would no longer provide no-action guidance on hedge clauses; therefore, the only avenue for further develop- ment of the law in this area is in the courts or SEC enforcement actions. Although hedge clauses have been raised by plaintiffs in a number of cases, there has only been one case with a published opinion that addresses the effect hedge clauses have on a contract between an investment adviser and its advisee.
The New York State Bar Association Journal has re-published Professor Vincent Di Lorenzo’s article, “Individual Liability of Board Members After Fletcher v. The Dakota” in its February 2014 issue. The Fletcher decision changed the legal standard under which corporate directors would be held individually liable for tortious conduct including violations of the civil rights laws. In 2006 the appellate court in Pelton v. 77 Park Avenue Condominium had ruled that directors could be held individually liable based on allegations of discrimination or other similar wrongdoing only if plaintiffs could plead with specificity “independent tortious acts by each individual defendant.” In the Fletcher decision, the appellate court concluded the Pelton decision had misinterpreted the governing case law. It rejected the independent tortious act requirement and ruled that the “participation of an individual director in a corporation’s tort is sufficient to give rise to individual liability.”
This article first explores if the Fletcher court was correctly interpreting earlier decisions in the New York courts. Second, the article explores the possible meaning of the “participation” requirement embraced in Fletcher, and asks the Court of Appeals to clarify this requirement. The article concludes that earlier decisions in the federal courts can be read as requiring active participation or personal involvement by the individual corporate director in the discriminatory action or conduct before imposing personal liability. Ultimately, however, the differing viewpoints in the Pelton and Fletcher decisions reflect a difference as to which public policy deserves primacy under the New York civil rights laws and laws governing homeowner communities. Professor Di Lorenzo’s article had previously appeared in the N.Y. Real Property Law Journal.
On Wednesday, February 19, Professor Jeremy Sheff presented his draft article, Dilution at the Patent and Trademark Office, at the Michigan IP Colloquium at the University of Michigan.
On January 30th, Professor John Q. Barrett was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Historical Society of the New York Courts. The Society, founded in 2002, preserves, protects, and promotes the legal history of New York State, including its courts and the rule of law, through educational outreach, public programs and publications. Other members of the Society’s Board include esteemed law school alumni Hon. Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick ’67, ’03 HON (Chair), Roy L. Reardon ’54, ‘00HON, Hon. Randall T. Eng ‘72, and Mary Kay Vyskocil ‘83.
This Thursday, February 13, 2014, Professor Leonard M. Baynes, Director of The Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights and Economic Development, will present on the struggles of Ronald H. Brown’70 in his rise to success as the first African-American to serve as U.S. Secretary of Commerce. The event, in honor of Black History Month, will take place at Albany Law School and will be moderated by the law school’s dean and president, Penelope Andrews.
On Thursday, February 13, 2014, Jennifer Baum, Assistant Professor of Clinical Legal Education and Director of the Child Advocacy Clinic, will join a panel of judges and trial lawyers to train lawyers for pro bono cases in the Southern District of New York. This CLE program, entitled, Trial Advocacy Training for Pro Bono Lawyers, is organized by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and the FBC Public Service Committee. The full day, free training ”is designed for both new (transitional) and experienced lawyers who are interested in developing their trial skills in order to accept pro bono cases.”