Archive for March 7th, 2014

March 7, 2014

Lazaro Co-Authors Report on BrokerCheck Disclosure System Omissions

Yesterday, the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA) issued a report co-authored by Christine Lazaro, Acting Director of the Law School’s Securities Arbitration Clinic, on flaws in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s BrokerCheck disclosure system.  The PIABA report issues the following warning:

The information that FINRA omits in its reports is objectively important to investors seeking to make an informed decision about selecting a broker. The result is that consumers who use the BrokerCheck system to conduct their due diligence may make an incorrect assumption that all relevant information has been disclosed and may opt to rely on a broker they would have avoided had they known more information.

The report has been covered in various new outlets, including Forbes, Reuters, WSJ online, and  In one online article, Lazaro explains, “[i]f an investor relied solely on a BrokerCheck report, they may be misled into believing that the broker left on amicable grounds.”


March 7, 2014

Kirgis Presents Article on Leverage and Coercion in Negotiation

On February 27, 2014, Professor Paul Kirgis presented his article, Bargaining with Consequences: Leverage and Coercion in Negotiation, at the Quinnipiac-Yale Dispute Resolution Workshop. Here’s an abstract of the article which will be published later this year in Harvard Negotiation Law Review:

Leverage has been called “negotiation’s prime mover,” conferring power to reach agreement “on your terms.” This power, however, is not always benign. When a negotiator has sufficient power to compel a counterparty to accept a set of unfavorable terms, the use of leverage may cross a line into inappropriate or illegal coercion. While coercion has been the subject of rich philosophical investigation, the topic of coercive power has received only cursory treatment in the negotiation literature. This article seeks to fill that gap by analyzing the uses and limits of negotiating leverage, which I define as power rooted in consequences. I identify two types of leverage—positive and negative—and explore the legal and ethical implications of each type, drawing on the political theory of coercion as well as primary and secondary legal sources. I conclude by analyzing the contract doctrines of duress and unconscionability to show how an understanding of leverage can aid in the application of legal rules.

Paul Kirgis

Paul Kirgis
March 7, 2014

Borgen Weighs in on Ukraine Crisis

Christopher Borgen, Professor and Associate Dean for International Studies, has written a series of blog posts on Opinion Juris about the current crisis in Ukraine.  The most recent post involves the Crimean parliament’s decision to secede Crimea from Ukraine to join Russia through the use of a parliamentary vote and a referendum.  Here’s an excerpt:

The legal issue here is really one of Ukrainian Constitutional law more than of international law, because, as it is generally understood, there is no right to secede under international law. Under international law, a secession is neither a right nor necessarily illegal. It is treated as a fact: a secession either was successful, it was not, or it is still being contested.

There is, however, a right to self-determination, which is understood to be, for communities that are not colonies and are within existing states, meaningful political participation and the pursuit of economic, social and cultural development under the auspices of that existing state, in this case Ukraine.  This conception of internal self-determination makes self-determination closely related to the respect of minority rights and it does not include a right to dismember an existing state. Furthermore, modern views of self-determination also recognize the “federalist” option of allowing a certain level of cultural or political autonomy as a means to satisfy the norm of self-determination.

You can also read Professor Borgen’s earlier posts about the background of the conflict and sanctions, Russian intervention in Ukraine,  and who speaks for Ukraine.


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