Archive for May, 2019

May 29, 2019

Lazaro Presents at New York City Bar Program:  Securities Arbitration & Mediation Hot Topics

On May 21, Professor Christine Lazaro participated in the New York City Bar Program:  Securities Arbitration & Mediation Hot Topics 2019.

Christine Lazaro

Along with other panelists, Professor Lazaro discussed changes to the standards governing brokers and investment advisers, as well as handling group cases.  Professor Lazaro also wrote two articles for the program. The first, co-authored with Michael Fabrizio ’20, is entitled, “Fiduciary Duties and Securities Brokers: A Need for a Uniform Standard;” and the second is entitled, “Discover Guidance for Product Cases.”

May 20, 2019

Lazaro Authors an Op-Ed for Investment News on FINRA Regulation and provides written testimony to Congress on behalf of PIABA

On May 14, Professor Christine Lazaro published an op-ed in the Investment News about a recent FINRA rule proposal calling for increased regulation of high-risk firms, entitled “Finra proposal to restrict recidivist behavior a good start — but more needs to be done.”

Christine Lazaro

Here is an excerpt:

More still needs to be done to protect investors. Even though firms provide advice about investors’ retirement and life savings, there is little protection for investors if the advice is bad, or even fraudulent.

In the event of a product failure, or concentrated misconduct, firms simply cannot make investors whole and a restricted fund will not last long enough to pay a string of arbitration awards resulting from the misconduct. Troubled firms will remain more likely to shut down, leaving investors with no recourse, with the key people simply moving on to new firms.

Finra must do more to ensure that firms, and those in charge of the firms, are held accountable when their brokers go astray. While this proposal is a welcome step in the right direction, until Finra defines “accountability” to mean protecting investors and making them whole, investors will not be fully protected.

Professor Lazaro also provided written testimony on behalf of PIABA to the House Financial Services Committee subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship and Capital Markets Committee for two recent hearings.  For the March 14, 2019 hearing, “Putting Investors First? Examining the SEC’s Best Interest Rule,” Professor Lazaro submitted a Statement for the Record discussing the SEC’s proposed Regulation BI and needed improvements to the regulation.   For the April 3, 2019 hearing, “Putting Investors First: Reviewing Proposals to Hold Executives Accountable,” Professor Lazaro submitted a Statement for the Record discussing the issue of mandatory arbitration clauses contained within contracts between investors and brokerage firms.

May 20, 2019

Greenberg’s Article Published in Arizona State Law Review

Professor Elayne E. Greenberg’s article, Hey, Big Spender: Ethical Guidelines for Dispute Resolution Professionals When Parties are Backed by Third Party Funders, has been published in the spring 2019 edition of the Arizona State Law Review.


Professor Greenberg has presented about this groundbreaking topic at the following:

Garibalidi Inn of Court  (N.J., March 14, 2019)

The Litigation Funding Forum (NYC, April 4, 2019)

ABA Annual Dispute Resolution Conference (Minneapolis, April 12, 2019)

ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Ethics Committee (Telephonically, May 6, 2019)

Below is the abstract for the article:

This first-of-its-kind paper introduces ethical guidelines and suggested practices for dispute resolution providers and neutrals when third-party funders provide financial backing for parties in U.S. domestic arbitrations and mediations. Sophisticated third-party funders have realized that litigation and dispute resolution are fast-growing, unregulated investment opportunities. Seizing these opportunities, third-party funders are now making billions of dollars in profits through their strategic investments in domestic and global litigation and dispute resolution with few ethical rules or regulations to curtail their investment behavior.3 Preferring to be secretive about the terms of their funding contracts and invisible in their work, third- party funders are flourishing, in large part, by operating below the regulatory radar.4 The funders’ behavior has been allowed to proceed invisible and unchecked because courts and dispute resolution providers and neutrals are too often unaware that a party is even receiving third-party funding. Such unawareness, however, presents a potential ethical minefield, not just for judges and litigators, but also for dispute resolution providers and neutrals.

May 14, 2019

Klonick Presents at Harvard, Yale, and Boston University

During the month of April, Professor Kate Klonick presented presented her paper, Facebook v. Sullivan: Building Constitutional Law for Online Speech, at Boston University and Harvard Law School.
She also presented at Yale Law School’s Social Media Governance Initiative.
Her class on information privacy was also featured in a WNBC segment in May.
May 14, 2019

Salomone presents at Symposium on The United Nations at 75: Listening, Talking and Taking Action in a Multilingual World

On May 10, Professor Rosemary Salomone made a presentation on


Rosemary Salomone

“The 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child: The United States as Sole Outlier” and led a discussion on “Language and the UN: The Diplomatic View” including UN ambassadors from Canada, Mali, Portugal and the Organisation de la Francophonie as part of a symposium on The United Nations at 75: Listening, Talking and Taking Action in a Multilingual World. 

May 14, 2019

Boyle Quoted by The Guardian

On May 11, Professor Robin Boyle Laisure was quoted by The Guardian in its recent article, “‘Everything was Just Lies’: How Alleged Sex Cult NXIVM Deceived its Victims.” Boyle has been researching and writing about cults and the law for approximately 20 years and has been observing the proceedings in this significant trial involving defendant Keith Raniere in Brooklyn.


Boyle explained that by focusing on human trafficking statutes, and by arguing sexual or financial gain was central to NXIVM, prosecutors may have avoided the long-standing problem of establishing lack of consent and mind control.

When asked by Guardian reporter, Edward Helmore, whether there is something about self-help groups that make participants more vulnerable to cults, Boyle replied, “I don’t believe people joined the group saying ‘I want to look thinner,'” she said. “They joined because somebody said they had answers to life questions. In the process they became controlled about how to look and behave.

“That is what is so deceptive about cults. The engagement is not clear at the outset, people get sucked in, turn over collateral and then it’s too late to exit.”

Marc Vicente, a Hollywood film-maker who became a NXIVM member, testified last Thursday that he now realizes the group covered “a horrible evil.” Vicente described how members were asked to fill-out surveys asking questions that would lead to shame should the answers be made public.

According to Vicente and to prosecution’s witness known only by her first name, Sylvie, NXIVM used the personal information it gathered, along with revealing photographs, to coerce members into compliance. Sylvie testified that she was ordered to seduce Raniere.

The trial is scheduled to continue over the next several weeks.


May 9, 2019

Boyle Attends Legal Writing Retreat

This past week, Professor Robin Boyle participated in the editorial board retreat for Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing.


The retreat was held at the headquarters of Thomson Reuters in Eagan, Minnesota. At the retreat, the board revamped its structure by drafting bylaws, establishing more concrete board duties, and setting publishing goals. Professor Boyle is a long-term member of the board, and her term has been renewed.

Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing is an electronic journal published by Thomson Reuters two times a year for legal research and writing professors and librarians at law firms and law schools. The journal provides a forum for discussing the teaching of legal research and writing, focusing on research materials, tools and theories.


May 7, 2019

Boyle Interviewed by Brooklyn Courthouse News Service

Professor Robin Boyle was interviewed by Brooklyn Courthouse News Service about the federal case against leader of sex cult NXIVM, Keith Raniere. The article titled, “Trial of NXIVM Leader to Put Spotlight on Cult Prosecutions,” predicts that the trial will be the “biggest cult case in decades.”


The article pointed out that Professor Boyle, in a 2016 article for the Oregon Review of International Law, had called upon authorities to prosecute cult leaders by using the federal human trafficking statutes–precisely what the Eastern District is doing in the NXIVM case.

The Courthouse News Service quoted Professor Boyle’s observation that the human trafficking statutes are useful in this kind of litigation “because they don’t rely on the mental state of the victim.” When asked what the defense would likely argue, Professor Boyle predicted that Raniere “could claim that some of the alleged crimes were simply sex games between consenting adults – ‘Kinky, yes. Not illegal.’”

The trial kicked off today with the prosecution’s opening argument. The defense has put forth the argument that the relationships were consensual.

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