Public Pension Funds and Social Investing: An Irresponsible Combination

Public pension funds, some of the largest financial players in U.S. financial markets, often go under the radar. The largest public pension fund in the United States, the California Public Employees Retirement System, or CalPERS as it is commonly known, has around $303 billion in assets under management, about three times the size of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund. Yet, as daily readers of the financial press know, one is much more likely to hear about the latest […] (More →)

Chasing Technology: The Challenges of Regulating Innovative Industries 

The impact technology has on society is undeniable. From smart phones to autonomous cars, our lives are increasingly influenced by technology. One of the most important uses of technology has been to increase access for the underprivileged.  “Civic tech,” as it is termed, aims to bridge gaps in equality by creating technological solutions to societal problems. By creating free, open source websites and applications that target specific issues, developers allow people from every background to gain access to vital information […] (More →)

Is Airbnb an Illegal Hotel? How New York Law Makes It So and What Can be Done

In October, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that imposes substantial fines for advertising home rentals in violation of New York City law. Currently New York City short-term rental laws make it illegal for homeowners living in multi-family dwellings to rent out their whole apartment for periods of less than 30 days. However, over the past few years during the rise of self-listing sites such as Airbnb, New York state and city authorities have avoided enforcing the law […] (More →)

Is the Independence of Outside Counsel Threatened?

At a time when companies are challenging the status quo in how they procure, use, and interact with legal service providers, it prompts the question: what does the future look like for traditional law firms?   After the financial crisis in 2008, general counsel’s primary objective has been to drive down and control the cost of outside counsel. This has led to the growth of in-house capacity, use of multiple law firms, rise of mediation and arbitration as dispute resolution […] (More →)

The Fiduciary Rule: What’s next in Trump’s America? (Department of Labor Edition)

On February 23, 2015, President Obama announced his intention to have the Department of Labor shake up the way investment advice in the US was given. In a major departure from the way investment products had traditionally been sold, every broker and financial advisor who dealt with retirement accounts would now be held to a fiduciary standard. The President claimed that hard working Americans, who had diligently saved for retirement, were losing a combined $17 billion every year to fees […] (More →)

Trade Policy and the Trump Administration

During the campaign season and in the early days of the new administration, there has been considerable attention focused on changing the way the United States engages in trade across the globe. What remains unclear, however, is just how President Trump and his administration plan to address what they see as deficiencies in the status quo in American trade relations and procedures. Operating under the broad aegis of the Tariff Act of 1930, the Federal government has established a long […] (More →)

The Ethical Implications of State Cannabis Legalization for Lawyers

Background Eight states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) and Washington, D.C. have legalized the recreational use of cannabis. There are an additional twenty states that have legalized cannabis for medical usage in one form or another. However, cannabis is still listed under federal law as a Schedule I drug, meaning the federal government considers it to have no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. While the Supremacy Clause would typically render invalid any […] (More →)

Government Bailouts: Takings or Financial Firebreaks?

When an economic wildfire starts, should privately owned financial property that is seized by the government to mitigate widespread damage amount to a “taking” or a financial firebreak? This question lies at the heart of a cascade of lawsuits that have been filed in the aftermath of the Financial Crisis of 2008. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (“[N]or shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation”) forbids the taking of private property for public use […] (More →)

Snap Inc.’s Disappearing Investor Rights

In an IPO landscape marked by low output and absent tech companies, the initial public offering of Snap Inc. (formerly Snapchat) has been hotly anticipated since Snap’s confidential filing with the SEC in November 2016. As excitement built for the high-profile offering, rumors surfaced that Snap would preserve the control of its founders, Evan Spiegel and Robert Murphy, post-IPO, possibly through common stock with no voting rights. Snap’s Form S-1, filed on February 2, confirmed that Snap plans to implement […] (More →)

The CROWDFUND Act in Action, Finally

It would be hard to downplay the popularity of crowdfunding in today’s Internet age. Now, however, this penchant for crowdfunding has found a new outlet: equity crowdfunding, or the online offering of securities to a group of people in exchange for investment. It was, it seems, an inevitability riding on the back of the Internet age, the visibility of high profile unicorns (startups that are valued at $1 billion or more), and the emergence of Kickstarter and other similar websites: […] (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.