Second Circuit to Select Standard for Assessing Legality of Unpaid Internships

A federal appeals court in Manhattan will soon select a test for federal trial judges to apply in lawsuits by unpaid interns seeking back pay. If the court opts for the plaintiff-friendly test supported by the Department of Labor (DOL), expect a huge increase in the number of suits brought by former unpaid interns, and possibly an end to the unpaid internship as we know it. On January 30, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for […] (More →)

Proxy Access Revisited: Viability of Rule 14a-8

On July 22, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated Rule 14a-11 in the case of Business Roundtable and Chamber of Commerce v. Securities and Exchange Commission. However, the court’s decision does not end the proxy access debate. On September 6, 2011, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) announced that it would not appeal the D.C. Circuit’s ruling, but instead would reinstate its amendments to rule 14a-8. Effective on September 14, 2011, the SEC adopted […] (More →)

Business as Usual? A Look at the Supreme Court Bar

The United States Supreme Court evokes a sense of mystique and exclusivity among laymen and lawyers alike. Its front doors are locked, its proceedings are not televised, and its public plaza is not as open to the public as you might believe. A recent Reuters report shows that this exclusivity extends to the court’s functionality: the justices accept only a sliver of the petitions they receive each year. Moreover, Reuters discovered that 66 of the 17,000 lawyers who petitioned the […] (More →)

The Tax Planning Implications of President Obama’s Proposed Elimination of the “Step-up”

In his State of the Union address on January 20th, President Barack Obama outlined a broad tax reform plan that would eliminate tax loopholes for wealthy individuals and corporations, thereby making more revenue available for state-provided education and childcare. In addition to increasing the total top capital gains and dividend rate to 28 percent and imposing a tax on lifetime gifts of property, the President’s plan would eliminate the “step up” in basis at death. The “step up” provision, which […] (More →)

Should the SEC allow corporations to prevent shareholder access by offering a conflicting proposal that is unlikely to assist shareholders in nominating and electing directors?

Recent events have given the SEC an opportunity to review whether it will allow corporations to rely on the conflicting shareholder proposal provision of Rule 14a-8(i)(9) to exclude shareholder access proposals. Given the important effects of increasing shareholders’ role in nominating and electing directors, the SEC should not allow corporations to exclude a shareholder access proposal by offering a management proposal that, while similar, would apply to so few shareholders that it will not effectively increase shareholder access.   Background […] (More →)

Insider Trading Liability in the Wake of Newman: Limitations on Remote Tippee Liability

Trading in public stocks using non-public, material information acquired from a third party brings the risk of insider trading liability. However, liability for traders who receive insider information (“tippees”) but are not associated with the leaking of that information is a currently developing area of law. On December 10, Justice Barrington Parker of the Second Federal Circuit decided the appeal of US v. Newman, a criminal case against two portfolio managers who had traded on tips received through their personal […] (More →)

The Ninth Circuit Reconsiders Last Year’s Controversial Copyright Decision

On December 15 of last year, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sat en banc to reconsider Garcia v. Google, one of the most controversial copyright decisions in recent memory. Earlier, in February, a three-judge panel headed by then-Chief Judge Alex Kozinski bucked copyright law traditional wisdom by holding that film actors have a copyright interest in their performances independent of the filmmakers’ interest in the unitary whole. If upheld, the decision could have wide-ranging consequences for the many millions […] (More →)

Possible Legal and Business Consequences of President Obama’s Stringent Net Neutrality Approach

On November 10th, 2014, President Barack Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to enforce more stringent measures to protect net neutrality on the Internet. Net neutrality entails treating all Internet traffic equally and not giving selective benefits or preferences to one over the other. The President urged the FCC to treat broadband service providers as common utilities providers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act of 1934, which would mean that the Internet service providers cannot “restrict the […] (More →)

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 →)

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.