Monday, November 15, 2010
The Evolution of Business Law in California and at Boalt Hall
Professor Richard Buxbaum, Berkeley Law
Boalt Hall – Room 110
Professor Richard Buxbaum ’53 has been a keen observer of the business law terrain for five decades. Prof. Buxbaum shared his perspective on the development of business law in California and the role played by Boalt Hall in that evolution. Three generations of Boalt Hall faculty members were and continue to be instrumental in reshaping many aspects of corporate law and securities regulation in California, across the United States and around the world. At this special lunchtime talk, Professor Buxbaum provided insights into the interplay among the legal academy, policymakers and the commercial world that will help us better understand the current legal and regulatory environment governing the business community and our collective efforts to emerge from the Great Recession.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
America’s Broken Retirement Plans and Pension System: Another “Gift” From Wall Street
Boalt Hall – Room 110
William Lerach discussed his perspectives on the relationship between the deregulation of our financial markets and several wealth destruction events that resulted in massive losses to the nation’s public, private and individual pension systems and plans. These losses have gravely impaired the finances of these retirement plans — leaving many of them, he argued, with unfunded obligations that are so pervasive that they now constitute a major threat to the financial future of our country. Mr. Lerach also discussed what, if anything, he believes can be done to avoid or ameliorate the crisis that would arise from the financial collapse of our pension systems.
To view William Lerach’s powerpoint click here.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Changes in the World’s Workshop: How new laws, more demanding workers, and activist trade unions are transforming the Chinese workplace
Mary Gallagher, Center for Chinese Studies, University of Michigan
Boalt Hall – Room 110
Watch Video (Quicktime required)
In 2008, the Chinese government passed three ambitious labor laws to improve working conditions at Chinese companies and the employment security of Chinese workers. Employers criticized these laws as a return to the age of the “iron rice bowl” under socialism, which guaranteed lifetime employment and extensive welfare benefits for all urban workers. Labor activists hoped that the new laws would help close the gap between the high standards of Chinese “law-on-the-books” with its implementation and enforcement in reality.
These protective measures coincided with the onset of the global financial crisis and a rapid decline in China’s export markets. The combination of more protective laws and greater economic volatility led to a rapid and unprecedented increase in labor conflict, including legal filings and large-scale strikes and demonstrations. In the wake of China’s recovery from the crisis, this conflict has continued. Workers are more aware of their new rights; trade unions have been encouraged by the government to do more to protect workers; and a labor shortage in manufacturing has emboldened workers to press for higher wages and better conditions.
This event was co-sponsored by the Center for Chinese Studies.
Friday, October 15, 2010
An Insider’s View of the SEC
Luis A. Aguilar, Commissioner, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Boalt Hall, Room 105
Commissioner Aguilar serves as the SEC’s primary sponsor of the Investor Advisory Committee, representing the Commission as its liaison to both the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and to the Council of Securities Regulators of the Americas (COSRA). He has also been listed in the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 editions of the Best Lawyers in America.
Spring Courses were previewed! We introduced faculty, resources available and also provided information for Spring 2010. Topics also included information on BCLBE and BBLJ as well as research, the Business Law Certificate Program and extra curricular activities available to students. BCLBE Executive Director Ken Taymor, and other business law faculty were introduced.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Alumni Reunion Panel: Impacts of the New Financial Services Industry Legislation
Eric Talley, Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Professor of Law, Co-Director, the Berkeley Center for Law, Business, and the Economy, led a discussion on how commerce and consumers may be impacted by the new financial services industry legislation.
Still trying to decide on a career focus? Considering a career as a business lawyer? BCLBE and BBLJ hosted a panel discussion, organized by the Business Law Section of the CA State Bar, on the realities of business law practice. Lawyers from diverse business practice areas provided insights into what they do, a first hand view of the day to day realities of different business practices, and guidance on how to investigate and determine whether and which area of business practice might be attractive to you.
This event was co-sponsored with the Berkeley Business Law Journal (BBLJ).
Students came to learn more about what business and finance related classes, resources, and extracurricular activities that were available! Professors Eric Talley, Robert Bartlett and BCLBE Executive Director Ken Taymor were present and topics such as an overview of the Business Law Curriculum at Boalt, info about the Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy (BCLBE) and opportunities with the Berkeley Business Law Journal (BBLJ) were discussed.
This event was co-sponsored with the Berkeley Business Law Journal (BBLJ)
April 1, 2010
New Credit Card Regulations: Impacts and Implications
Lauren Bowne, Thomas Brown and Katherine Porter
This year ushers in a wave of changes to the system of lending in the United States. The major provisions of the Credit CARD Act, which went into effect in February, set new standards for interest rate increases, credit card marketing and disclosure requirements. In addition, under new rules promulgated by the Federal Reserve, starting this summer banks must ask consumers whether they want to opt-in for overdraft programs.
These new rules have been praised by consumer advocacy groups as necessary steps in the right direction, and sharply criticized by banks as unnecessary measures that will cost a crippled industry billions of dollars and result in less credit to those who need it most.
This event was co-sponsored with the Boalt Consumer Law Society (BCLS).
March 11, 2010
The Anatomy of a Deal
Safra A. Catz, President of Oracle Corporation
Oracle President Safra Catz gave an insider’s look at the anatomy of a business deal, including the role of the various players on the Oracle team, how the business strategy to implement the deal was determined and implemented, and how the deal relates to the global marketplace in which Oracle operates. This was a great opportunity to learn a business executive’s perspective about what skills and knowledge she expected her lawyers to have and contributions she expected her lawyers to make to the deal (planning, implementing and post-closing).
March 9, 2010
Dominating the World: How Monopolists Face an Increasingly Uncertain Fate in the Courts and Before Global Regulators
James Pearl, O’Melveny & Myers
In September 2010, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will face off against the Intel Corporation in the largest monopolization case since Microsoft. The government’s case against Intel is the culmination of a nearly decade long battle between Intel and various worldwide regulators. It also comes on the heels of Intel’s payment of $1.25 billion to its largest competitor Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) to settle claims brought by AMD in 2005. The FTC’s suit will test how far the antitrust laws can go to regulate a dominant firm’s conduct. Using the FTC’s suit against Intel as a case study, Mr. Pearl produced a vigorous academic and legal debate surrounding the question of whether courts and government agencies should be policing single firm conduct and what types of evidence tips the balance in these large antitrust cases. And what challenges face plaintiffs and defendants alike in litigating these cases in an email driven world?
February 18, 2010
A Break Down of the Bailout
Featured Speaker: Stephen Bainbridge, Ken Taymor and John P. Hunt
As the economy crumbled in 2008, the government intervened to “save” financial institutions that were “too big to fail.” This unprecedented action generated a multitude of legal, economic, and political questions; perhaps none more important than “will it work?” With the decision to intervene behind us, it is now time to evaluate the impacts and implications for law, business, and the economy as a whole.
This event was co-sponsored with the Federalist Society at Boalt Hall.
January 14, 2010
Competing in China: Antitrust, Anticorruption, & Industrial Policy
Featured Speaker: Nathan Bush, O’Melveny & Myers
China’s leadership enters 2010 with a mammoth stimulus program onstream and mounting (often conflicting pressures) to restructure China’s hybrid “command-market” system and its role in the global economy. At the central government’s disposal are new instruments such as the Antimonopoly Law, older tools such as the Law on Guarding State Secrets, and the state’s tremendous influence over Chinese finance and commerce. Foreign firms active in China face new regulatory challenges, from the antitrust obstacles of acquiring Chinese firms to the corruption risks of dealing with the state sector. Mr. Bush explored the intersection of China’s evolving antitrust, anticorruption, trade, and industrial policies. Mr. Bush is a partner in the Antitrust & Competition Practice Group of O’Melveny & Myers LLP. He currently serves as the General Counsel of the American Chamber of Commerce in China.