Legal Services for Startups: Toward a Web-Based Form System Business

In a 2013 article, Forbes identified 10 Big Legal Mistakes Made By Startups. These include breakdowns in documentation, ignorance of tax consequences, and choice-of-entity issues. Significantly, the article concludes by naming “not having the right legal counsel” as a serious problem for startup companies. Strapped for cash, startups often hire discounted and inexperienced legal counsel from among friends and relatives. Instead, Forbes advises conscientious startups to research and vet potential counsel, retaining attorneys or law firms that have experience in […] (More →)

Occupational Licensing: Protecting the Public or Enriching the Entrenched?

Are you at risk from a rogue interior designer? If requirements to be known as a “Certified Interior Designer” are anything to go by, the State of New York believes you might be. To use that title, New York requires applicants to pay a fee of $377, accrue “at least seven years of acceptable education and experience credits,” and pass a three section test known as the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Examination. Fees for this exam can approach […] (More →)

In My Mind and In My Car: How the Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies suit against Ford is using old copyright law to solve new industry problems

You cannot teach an old dog new tricks – but you might be able to use old laws to solve new problems. The music industry consistently complains about the lack of profits from new technologies, just look at Taylor Swift’s record label, Big Machine Records recent decision to pull their music off of Spotify for the lack of royalties. Set against this background one organization is using a law from 1992 aimed at a niche area of technology to sue […] (More →)

Ebola: The Legal Implications of an Epidemic

The outbreak of Ebola has created a tremendous humanitarian crisis with nearly 14,000 confirmed cases and 5,000 deaths, primarily in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. With the appearance of cases in the United States, including two healthcare workers who contracted the disease while they were caring for a patient in Dallas, media coverage and public alarm has greatly magnified. While health and humanitarian concerns predominate, the Ebola epidemic has also created significant legal issues—most prominently […] (More →)

CBLR Seeking Papers for 2015 Survey Issue

In keeping with its tradition of publishing leading business law scholarship, the Columbia Business Law Review (CBLR) is pleased to announce that it is soliciting papers for its 2015 Survey Issue (Volume 2015, Issue No. 2), which will be focused exclusively on the topic “Business & Technology.” This is a time of exciting changes, and CBLR would like to publish your contributions to the legal literature. There is no shortage of topics to explore, from cyber-security and net neutrality to […] (More →)

RMBS Fraud: The Search for Accountability Continues

In remarks before the Senate Judiciary Committee in March 2013, Attorney General Eric Holder famously professed his concerns about pursuing criminal charges against financial institutions: “I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if we do prosecute – if we do bring a criminal charge – it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps […] (More →)

Rebutting Reliance: Keeping up with Halliburton and Defendants’ Efforts to Block Class Certification

In Halliburton v. Erica P. John Fund, handed down last June, the Supreme Court held that investor-plaintiffs in securities fraud actions could continue to invoke a presumption of reliance for purposes of class certification but that defendants would be permitted to rebut the presumption at the certification stage. The decision was conservative in that it upheld the controversial presumption of reliance, which effectively allows plaintiffs to bypass one of the usual certification requirements. It did, however, provide defendants, usually businesses, […] (More →)

Opinion Apparently a Matter of Opinion in Omnicare

Corporate mens rea is back in the spotlight as Omnicare, Inc. (NYSE: OCR), a defendant familiar to Corporations students countrywide, is once again pitted against investors in a private action lawsuit. After having granted certiorari in March 2014, the Supreme Court will consider this term whether a statement of opinion in a Form S-1 (“Registration Statement”) must be both objectively and subjectively false to be actionable under Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933 – that is, whether a […] (More →)

Implications of Blackstone’s Purported Elimination of Accelerated Monitoring Fees

Recent changes in fee policies at private equity firms have given rise to largely optimistic responses from the press and the SEC alike, and some have lauded the change as an indication of the efficacy of the investor protection provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”). However, it is important to view the policy change in light of the problems inherent in the complex private equity business model, and doing so sheds light on […] (More →)

Know Your (Terrorist) Customer: Terror-Financing Liability Under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1990

The Anti-Terrorism Act of 1990 (ATA) allows private rights of action for a U.S. national “injured in his or her person, property, or business by reason of an act of international terrorism.” 18 U.S.C. § 2333(a). This encompasses penalties for those who knowingly provide material support, which is defined to include currency, financial services, lodging, and training, to a foreign terrorist organization. 18 U.S.C. § 2339A. But should “material support” extend to banking and processing financial transactions? And even so, […] (More →)

About CBLR

Columbia Business Law Review is the first legal periodical at a national law school to be devoted solely to the publication of articles focusing on the interaction of the legal profession and the business community. The review publishes three issues yearly, which involve students in the editing of leading articles in business law, as well as the production of student-written notes.