Archive for October, 2017

October 30, 2017

Barrett Lectures at Museum of Jewish Heritage

On October 19th, Professor John Q. Barrett delivered a lecture, “From Nuremberg to Eichmann,” at the Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, in New York City.

JQB Jewish Museum

October 25, 2017

Lazaro Becomes Executive Vice President/President-Elect of PIABA and Speaks on Securities Arbitration Issues

This past week, Professor Lazaro became the Executive Vice President/President-elect of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA) at its annual meeting.  Professor Lazaro has served on the Board of Directors of PIABA for the past two years, and has chaired several committees over the past nine years as a member of the association.  Professor Lazaro will serve one year as vice president, followed by one year as president of PIABA. Christine Lazaro

Professor Lazaro also spoke on two panels at PIABA’s annual meeting.  Professor Lazaro spoke on the panel entitled, “The DOL’s Fiduciary Rule: How it Compares to (and Impacts) Existing Standards for Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers,” along with Professor Mercer E. Bullard of the University of Mississippi School of Law and Professor Teresa J. Verges of the University of Miami School of Law.  The panel discussed the recent Department of Labor fiduciary duty rule and how it differs from other fiduciary standards governing financial advisors.  Professor Lazaro also spoke on the panel entitled, “Regulatory Changes to the Investment Advice Industry,” with Professor Benjamin Edwards of the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law.  That panel discussed recent regulatory updates, including the DOL’s fiduciary duty rule, recent SEC guidance on Initial Coin Offerings, as well as other FINRA and SEC rule changes.

Additionally, Professor Lazaro was recently quoted in news articles on securities arbitration issues. Professor Lazaro was quoted in James Thorne’s article, “FINRA diversifies arbitrator pool, with a long road ahead,” on Professor Lazaro discussed concerns about the lack of diversity in the FINRA arbitration pool:

When arbitrators don’t resemble claimants or society at large, the system appears to have a structural bias, critics contend.

“It undermines customer confidence in the process,” says Christine Lazaro, vice president-elect of PIABA and director of the Securities Arbitration Clinic at St. John’s University School of Law.

The diversity of the FINRA arbitration pool was a topic discussed at the PIABA annual meeting.  FINRA has been making efforts to further diversify its pool of arbitrators.

Professor Lazaro was also quoted in Michael Thrasher’s article, “Office of Management and Budget Approves DOL Fiduciary Rule Delay,” on  The DOL recently submitted a proposal to the Office of Management and Budget, requesting an additional 18 month delay of implementation of the exemptions associated with the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule.  Certain aspects of the exemptions accompanying the Rule had already been delayed from April 2017 to January 2018.  Professor Lazaro commented on the impact of a further delay:

Christine Lazaro, an associate professor at St. John’s University School of Law, is a proponent of the fiduciary rule and was disappointed the delay was approved.

“Investors will continue to be harmed by conflicted advice, especially if there is no meaningful way to enforce the impartial conduct standards,” Lazaro said. “The DOL has already demonstrated that the costs of compliance are outweighed by the costs associated with delay.”

Professor Lazaro further discussed this topic on both of the PIABA annual meeting panels.

October 23, 2017

Salomone Presents at Toledo Symposium on Public Single Sex Schools

Professor Rosemary Salomone gave a presentation on “Public Single-Sex Schools: Caught in a Web of Law, Politics, and Science” at the Symposium on Gender Equality: Progress and Possibilities hosted by the Law Review at the University of Toledo College of Law on October 13th.


Rosemary Salomone

Professor Salomone discussed her involvement in the legal developments surrounding such schools, critiqued the arguments raised by the organized opposition, and provided counter evidence from empirical findings from abroad and anecdotal evidence from the United States where single-sex schools have been shown to benefit particularly “at risk” students.

October 19, 2017

Barrett Gives U.S. Supreme Court Review/Preview Lecture

On October 5, Professor John Q. Barrett lectured at the Federal Bar Association’s EDNY jqb photoChapter, at the U.S. Courthouse in Central Islip, New York, on U.S. Supreme Court decisions and developments from last Term and cases and possible developments in the newly-started Term. This is the sixth consecutive year in which he has lectured in this well-attended program for Federal lawyers and Judges.

October 19, 2017

Sovern Speaks at City Bar Association, Quoted In Five Articles on Equifax Data Breach, Including by Consumer Reports and American Banker

Professor Jeff Sovern spoke to the New York City Bar Association Committee on Consumer Affairs about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the Trump administration on October 12. In addition, he was quoted in five articles.


Jeff Sovern

On September 28, Consumer Reports, in an article titled “Should You Participate in a Class Action Against Equifax?​” and posted on Yahoo Finance, quoted Sovern as follows:

In some cases, you may have a choice of accepting either a default payment or applying for a higher amount based on any proof you have that your losses were higher, says Jeff Sovern, professor at the St. John’s University School of Law in New York. * * *

You can opt out of a class action. If you do, you’ll preserve your right to sue on your own, Sovern says.

The American Banker quoted Sovern in two articles. One, on September 22, was about a credit union class action against Equifax in connection with the data breach, and was headlined “Credit union suit of Equifax may be first, likely won’t be last”​:

“I wonder whether the breach will affect the willingness of financial institutions to give Equifax the information which it needs to function,” Jeff Sovern, a law professor at St. John’s University, said in an email.

“After all, financial institutions now have a reason to believe that information may not be secure,” Sovern continued. “If some financial institutions stop providing Equifax data, that may make Equifax’s product less valuable to other lenders, which could also affect their willingness to be an Equifax customer. So financial institutions can damage Equifax even without suing.”

The other American Banker article, published on September 11, was headlined “Equifax breach may kill repeal of CFPB mandatory arbitration rule.”​ The article quoted Sovern as folllows:

Jeff Sovern, a law professor at St. John’s University in New York, called Equifax’s use of an arbitration agreement “diabolical” and “clever lawyering.”

* * *

“Equifax’s arbitration agreement precludes consumers from bringing class actions,” said Sovern, who added that the agreement likely now extends to noncustomers, giving the company even more cover.

“Many-perhaps most-of the consumers whose data has been compromised won’t have a previous contractual relationship with Equifax, and so would have been able to bring a class action,” Sovern said.

Sovern was also quoted by Woman’s Day in “You Could Be Entitled to Money From the Equifax Security Breach” on September 22:

That being said, Jeff Sovern, a professor of law at St. John’s University, says if you weren’t planning to sue on your own, you have little to lose by joining in.

“If you believe you have a valid claim but you aren’t going to bother to sue separately, and you think the settlement is likely to benefit you (e.g., if money will be deposited directly into your bank account without you doing anything or if you believe you would file the claim forms), then you gain something by joining without losing anything,” he explained to also quoted Sovern in an article titled “Ready to sue Equifax? Here’s what to know”:

“If somebody has a huge amount of damage — their credit is destroyed or they’ve put down a deposit to buy a house and now they can’t get a mortgage and they lose the deposit, they lose their dream house — now their damages are enough to pay for an attorney,” says Jeff Sovern, a law professor at New York’s St. John’s University. * * *

If consumers have agreed to an arbitration clause, they’re usually stuck. But these agreements can be waived if there’s public pressure, Sovern says.

October 16, 2017

Di Lorenzo’s Article Published in the New York Law Journal

Professor Vincent Di Lorenzo’s article, “Unlimited Liability in Limited Liability Companies”, was published in the New York Law Journal on October 6, 2017.  Vince Di Lorenzo

The article explores the intersection of corporate and tort law on the issue of personal liability of individuals with management power. The literature has explored the participation standard and how it serves to impose personal liability on corporate directors. The focus of this article is on limited liability companies. LLCs are often used as ownership entities for real estate ventures. Members of LLCs are similar to corporate shareholders but also similar to corporate directors in that they exercise management power. State decisions are divided on the question of whether members of LLCs can be held personally liable under the participation standard when they act on behalf of the LLC. This articles examines New York decisions that have imposed such liability in cases involving active participation. It then explores if and when members can be held personally liable in cases involving inaction in the face of tortious conduct by agents or other members.

October 11, 2017

Video of Professor Barrett’s Interview of Eichmann Prosecutor Gabriel Bach

In late August, Professor John Q. Barrett, working with camera crews in New York and Jerusalem, videotaped an interview with Israeli Supreme Court Justice (retired) Gabriel Bach.


John Barrett

In 1961, Bach was Israel’s deputy prosecutor in the trial of former Nazi SS officer Adolf Eichmann, a principal architect of the Holocaust. Today, Justice Bach is the only surviving prosecutor from the Eichmann trial, which captured worldwide attention through television and print coverage and gave prominent voice to Holocaust survivors.

The edited Barrett-Bach interview now is available online. It was played on September 12 at the Paul S. Miller Distinguished Lecture program, sponsored by the International March of the Living and Rutgers Law School, in which Professor Barrett also lectured. For this blog’s previous post on the Miller Lecture program, click here.

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