News 2010

Washington Post, December 30, 2010.  Stavros Gadinis comments on the hiring boon for regulators, prosecutors and financial policymakers looking to cash in on their government experience and contacts as a result of the overhaul of financial regulations and white collar crime investigations.

The Los Angeles Times, December 29, 2010. Robert Bartlett thinks SEC may pressure Facebook to go public.

In a new paper, “Freedom to Trade and the Competitive Process,” Aaron Edlin and Joseph Farrell explore the idea that antitrust courts protect the process of firms and customers forming coalitions that allow them to trade to their mutual betterment. The paper is available for here (free registration required).

In this first-ever video update, Dean Edley discusses the state of the school, in particular four areas where Berkeley Law has made recent strides: business law, international law, environmental law, and law and technology. Joining him are professors Eric Talley, Richard Buxbaum, Pam Samuelson and Lecturer in Residence Steve Weissman.  

December 14, 2010 – Stavros Gadinis, presented research on post-crisis regulatory reforms to lawyers and officials from the Treasury Department.  His talk, “Finance Ministries in Systemic Regulation:  The New Players.” focused on the  2007-2008 crisis and the common shock that affected many jurisdictions at once. With the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Treasury has extensive new responsibilities with respect to many facets of financial regulation.  Did other countries follow the U.S. lead of providing additional authority to finance ministries? The talk focused on developments in key foreign jurisdictions (UK, France, Germany) and presented evidence from Spain, Canada, Japan.  As Prof. Gadinis’ research shows, many jurisdictions turned towards the central government, but the type, scope, and extent of supervisory response varies across borders.

Robert Bartlett publishes, “The Determinants of Buyout Returns: Does Transaction Strategy Matter?” This paper reexamines one of the most studied questions in the scholarship of leveraged buyouts (LBOs): how do LBO sponsors create value for their investors in take-private acquisitions? In so doing, the paper makes two significant contributions to our understanding of LBOs. Most importantly, the paper provides the first-ever analysis of the equity returns to LBO sponsors.  

Robert Bartlett was a discussant for Ola Bengtsson, Assistant Professor of Finance at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Abraham Ravid’s, Professor of Finance and Economics at Rutgers Business School, paper, “Geography and Private Equity Contracting: Evidence from U.S. Venture Capital” at this years Fifth Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies held at Yale Law School from November 5-6. Follow these links for more information about the conference or the program.

On Tuesday, November 9, 2010 Prasad Krishnamurthy will present, “Reflections of My Year Teaching Law in India.” Prof.Krishnamurthy joined the Berkeley Law Faculty in 2010 after completing his Ph.D. in economics from U.C. Berkeley.  His research seeks to apply empirical methods to analyze legal rules and institutions relating to law and policy.  He serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Indian Journal of Law and Economics. He has taught at the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) in Hyderabad, India as a Yale Law School Ruebhausen Fellow.

We are pleased to announce that John D. Wright, Chief Regulatory Counsel and manager of the Regulation and Compliance Section of the Law Department at Wells Fargo & Company in San Francisco, has joined the BCLB Advisory Board. He is responsible for corporate bank and bank holding company regulatory matters. He previously had responsibility for attorneys handling technology services, intellectual property, securities brokerage, and insurance. In prior positions with Wells Fargo and one of its predecessor banks, Crocker National Bank, Mr. Wright handled matters relating to credit card and home equity lending, privacy and information sharing, and bank operations. Prior,  he practiced securities and banking law at the Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison and Graham & James law firms in San Francisco. He is a graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School.

San Jose Mercury News, November 7, 2010 – Eric Talley thinks Hurd’s possible leak of info to contractor could have played into board’s decision to fire him.

Ken Taymor submitted a comment letter to the Federal Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) in response to the FSOC’s request for input on how it should implement the Volcker Rule part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Drawing on the legislative history of the Dodd-Frank Act and the economic evidence of the role of venture capital funds in the economy, Ken argued that FSOC should not interpret and apply the Volcker Rule to prevent banking entities from continuing to sponsor and invest in venture capital funds.

The Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2010 – Professor Eric Talley comments in, “Oracle CEO Steps Up Attacks on H-P Chief.” Talley says Oracle head Larry Ellison is conducting a “trial of public perceptions” in battle against SAP.

The Wall Street Journal, China Real Time Report, October 20, 2010 – Stanley Lubman writes as Chinese workers grow increasingly bold in demands for better treatment, the institutions designed to address their concerns appear to be failing in his article, “Chinese Workers’ Rising Rights-Consciousness.”

October 15, 2010 U.S. SEC Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar visited Berkeley Law and gave students and faculty “An Insider’s Look at the SEC.” Commissioner Aguilar discussed the impact of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act on the SEC and its activities, the principles that should guide the SEC in exercising its obligations and powers under the act, and a few of the potential pitfalls presented by the legislation. Prior to his public talk, Commissioner Aguilar participated in a breakfast roundtable discussion with Berkeley Law and Haas faculty and students and other guests from the legal and investment community. Follow this link for a transcript of the Commissioner’s presentation.

October 2010, Professor Robert P. Bartlett presented, “Inefficiencies in the Information Thicket: A Case Study of Derivative Disclosures During the Financial Crisis;” at Vanderbilt University School of Law’s, Law & Business Seminar Series and at the University of Illinois. Professor Bartlett’s paper draws on his empirical examination of whether enhanced derivative disclosures can have any meaningful effect given the complexity of credit derivative transactions, a particularly salient topic in light of the extensive disclosure and other regulatory reforms required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

SF Chronicle Business Report, September 29, 2010 – Eric Talley comments on, “AOL, in reinvention strategy, buying TechCrunch.”

Reutgers, September 29, 2010 – Eric Talley discusses the, “Billions at stake in Merck/J&J Remicade dispute.”

The Wall Street Journal, China Real Time Report, September 27, 2010 – Stanley Lubman writes that a series of strikes at foreign-invested enterprises in China could result in more than simple wage increases in his “China’s Continuing Labor Problems” article.

The Wall Street Journal, China Real Time Report, September 3, 2010 – Stanley Lubman writes about China’s Food Safety Challenges
Sino-American cooperation to increase product safety is increasing, but this does not relieve concern about the safety of food and other Chinese exports to the U.S.

KCBS Radio, September 7, 2010 – Eric Talley, co-director of BCLB, comments on Hewlett-Packard’s lawsuit against former CEO Mark Hurd, over worries that he could breach his contract and spill the company’s trade secrets, a day after he was named co-president of rival Oracle.  

The Burrill Report Podcast, September 7, 2010 – The U.S. Department of Justice has filed an appeal to the recent preliminary injunction issued by a federal district court judge that halted federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research. At issue is Judge Royce Lamberth’s broad interpretation of the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, which prohibits the U.S. government from funding research in which a human embryo is destroyed. Ken Taymor, Executive Director of BCLB, talks with The Burrill Report about the judge’s ruling, the Justice Department’s request for a stay, and the legal and legislative fights ahead.

The Conglomerate, August 26, 2010 – Eric Talley joins The Conglomerate’s Lisa Fairfax and Usha Rodrigues and guests: Christopher Bruner (Washington & Lee), Brett McDonnell (Minnesota), Nell Minow (the Corporate Library), and J.W. Verret (George Mason) in a Proxy Access Forum to discuss the new SEC rules changes “to the federal proxy rules to facilitate the effective exercise of shareholders’ traditional state law rights to nominate and elect directors to company boards of directors.”

We are pleased to announce that Miranda-Lin Bailey ’04, Exxon Mobil Corporation, has joined the BCLB Advisory Board.  She serves as legal advisor to the company’s Upstream divisions and world-wide affiliates.  Prior to joining ExxonMobil, she practiced international dispute resolution and securities litigation at the Houston office of Vinson & Elkins.

The Wall Street Journal, China Real Time Report, August 16, 2010 – Stanley Lubman writes about the maintaining social stability with the rise of China’s growing rights-conscious population
A recent incident in central China dramatizes the severe contradiction between the government’s concern for maintaining social stability and the anger of increasingly rights-conscious citizens, Stanley Lubman writes.

July 30, 2010 – Eric Talley Explains Government Role in Oracle Suit in, “Government alleges overcharging by Oracle.”

June 30, 2010 – Eric Talley testifies in in the class-action lawsuit against Skilled Healthcare Group Inc. Reported by Matt Drange in the Times-Standard.

The Wall Street Journal, China Real Time Report, July 11, 2010 – Stanley Lubman writes about the strikes in May and June at foreign-owned factories that have stimulated some speculation about the possibility of an independent labor movement arising in China in his article “The New Challenge of the Strikes Won’t Go Away.”

Do subprime securitization contracts prohibit modification of the loans they cover?  Is that the reason that it has been difficult to secure loan modifications that benefit investors and borrowers by averting the cost and disruption of foreclosure?  John P. Hunt‘s paper Loan Modification Restrictions in Subprime Securitization Pooling and Servicing Agreements from 2006:  Final Results surveys subprime securitization agreements from 2006, with some unexpected results.

June 28, 2010 – In the Spring 2010 edition of the Boalt Alumni Transcript Prof. Robert P. Bartlett III, discusses data-driven disclosure and how it will help investors make better decisions.

BCLB Stem Cell Law and Economics Fellow, Asher Hodes ’12, is exploring how the FDA and the USPTO could facilitate commercialization of “personalized” stem cell therapies. You can read more about Asher and his project in Berkeley Law’s current Transcript.

The Wall Street Journal, China Real Time Report, June 25, 2010 – Stanley Lubman continues his discussion on the recent wave of strikes in foreign-owned enterprises in China in his article, “Stanley Lubman: Are Strikes the Beginning of a New Challenge?”

June 2010 – Berkeley Law has completed a particularly successful faculty hiring season. Two new business law professors will be joining the faculty on July 1: Prasad Krishnamurthy and Stavros Gadinis. Prasad has a J.D. from Yale and is completing his Ph.D. in economics at UC Berkeley. His fields of interest include banking system regulation, antitrust and industrial organization. Stavros has LL.M. degrees from Cambridge and Harvard, where he is also completing his J.S.D. His research and teaching interests include securities regulation, international financial institution regulation and corporate governance.

June 17 & 18, 2010 – Nancy Wallace recently presented her paper “CMBS Subordination, Ratings Inflation, and the Crisis of 2007-2009” at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Conference on Market Institutions and Financial Market Risk in New York City.  The paper is jointly authored with Richard Stanton and was also presented at the Swedish Central Bank (Riksbank) in Stockholm and at the Stockholm School of Economics in May.

June 11, 2010 – Living on Earth’s host Jeff Young talked with UC Berkeley corporate law expert Eric Talley about some of BP’s options: merger, acquisition, asset sell-off, and how those moves change the chances that those affected by the oil disaster will be compensated.

May 28, 2010 – Robert P. Bartlett III presented “Who Killed the Venture-Backed IPO?” at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association in Chicago, Illinois.

BCLB’s Publications and Research webpage includes links to a range of scholarly articles, ongoing research and informed commentary on many important topics at the intersections of law, business and the economy. For example, in a recent article in The Economists’ Voice, “It Works for Mergers, Why not Finance,” Aaron Edlin and Richard Gilbert discuss how merger policy could provide a useful guide for financial reform. On the Venture Capital Research Network, Douglas Cumming and April Knill examine the impact of securities regulation and disclosure on the supply of venture capital, the success of venture capital investments, and the role of such investments in inspiring the creation of new entrepreneurial ventures. And you can find Stanley Lubman’s insightful observations on developments in Chinese law as part of the WSJ’s China Real Time Report.

May 15-19, 2010 – Eric Talley presented “An Introduction to Corporate Finance, and Applications to Regulated Industries” to state regulators at the University of Colorado’s Silicon Flatirons’ “Institute of Regulatory Law and Economics” (IRLE.)

May 10, 2010 – Eric Talley presented the inaugural chair lecture for the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Professorship in Law, Business and the Economy, entitled “Crisis, Chaos and Complexity: Do Financial Regulators Stand A Chance?”

May 7 & 8, 2010 – Robert P. Bartlett III presented “Inefficiencies in the Information Thicket: A Case Study of Derivatives Disclosures During the Financial Crisis” at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Law and Economics Association at Princeton University.

May 4-6, 2010 – Braden Penhoet joined a delegation from UC Berkeley’s Office of Government and Community Relations, and executives of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, in several Washington D.C. meetings with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor to discuss issues relating to the finance of renewable energy, energy efficiency and green chemistry.

May 3, 2010 – Ken Taymor comments on stem cell patents in, “The Stem Cell Battle Continues.” a blog.

April 2010 – Robert J. Majteles has joined BCLB as the new Director of our Entrepreneurship Program.  Robert is a popular lecturer at the law school and Haas School of Business. He is the managing partner of Treehouse Capital LLC.  He also serves as an active board member for the companies in Treehouse’s portfolio and as an advisory partner to a variety of investment funds.

April 26, 2010 – Robert Bartlett‘s paper “Going private but staying public: Reexamining the effect of Sarbanes-Oxley on firms’ going-private decisions,” and Eric Talley’s co-authored paper, “Going-private decisions and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002: A cross-country analysis” have been selected as two of the top 10 corporate and securities articles of 2009 in an annual nationwide poll of corporate and securities law faculty conducted by the Corporate Practice Commentator.

April 6, 2010 – BCLB Advisory Board member, Paul T. Clark ’80, hosted a group of Berkeley Law students who are interning in Washington, DC as part of the UCDC Law Program. The students spend a semester in Washington, DC participate in a weekly seminar and work in a full-time government or NGO placement that provides an unparalleled opportunity to learn how federal statutes, regulations, and policies are made, changed, and understood in the nation’s capital.

Spring 2010 – Mike Ross, a member of the BCLB Advisory Board and lecturer at Berkeley Law, spent March of this year teaching his M&A seminar to second year students at Peking University School of Transnational Law in Shenzhen.  STL is the only school in China that offers JD degrees in both Chinese and U. S. law.

BCLB’s Law and Economics Program announces the recipients of its 2009-2010 Law and Economics Fellowships. An anonymous donor has given the money to the law and economics program to encourage JD students interested in law, economics, and business. The awards are given to first year students based on an expressed interest in the subject when they applied to Berkeley Law and to graduate students working in the field. Students receiving the awards are encouraged to take a class in law and economics. A complete list of BCLB’s Law and Economics Program fellows is available here.


Spring 2010 – Robert Bartlett, Assistant Professor of Law, believes data-driven disclosure will help  investors make better decisions.

March 24, 2010 – Aaron Edlin presented, “Predatory Pricing” before the New York University Law School faculty.

 Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2010 – Stanley Lubman explains limits of court reform in “China in Uncertainty in China’s Legal Development, Part 2: Reforming the Courts“.

February 18, 2010 – Robert Bartlett presented his paper “Inefficiencies in the Information Thicket: A Case Study of Derivative Disclosures During the Financial Crisis” at the Fourth Law and Entrepreneurship Retreat at BYU Law School on February 18. The goals of the Retreat are to encourage the development of scholarship at the intersection of law and entrepreneurship, and to build the community of people who identify themselves as interested in such scholarship. He will be presenting new research on the “Death of the IPO” at the University of Virginia on April 2.

February 5, 2010 – Robert Bartlett presented “What Killed the Venture-Backed IPO?” at the Virginia Law & Business Review Symposium.

January 27, 2010 – Research fellow Braden Penhoet moderated a panel discussion on financing challenges associated with cleantech-related technology transfer and construction-to-scale, at the Joint BioEnergy Institute, an affiliate of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The panel was part of a two-day “leadership summit” among business leaders , investors, government officials and representatives of research institutions and foundations, interested in U.S. economic leadership and job creation in the clean technology and renewable energy sectors.

January 26, 2010 – Eric Talley presents, “Left, Right, and Center: Strategic Information Acquisition and Diversity in Judicial Panels,” at the Public Law and Legal Theory Workshop at the University of Chicago, School of Law.

New York Times, January 19, 2010 – Aaron Edlin writes, “Can Immigrants Solve Our Health Care Problems?”

January 15, 2010 – Research fellow Braden Penhoet  participated in a panel discussion at the National Academies of Science’s Board on Science, Technology and Economic Policy, on how venture capital and entrepreneurial communities view alternative energy and related environmental technology investments in light of evolving federal legislation and policies addressing research and development investments and climate change mitigation.

Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2010 – Stanley Lubman advices firms to avoid unethical business practices in China in a article titled, “The Telecom Company That Didn’t Play by the Rules.”

January 7, 2010 – Congratulations to Anita K. Krug, BCLB Research Fellow, Law and Finance, on her accepting a position as a faculty member at the University of Washington Law School.

San Francisco Chronicle, January 6, 2010 – David Gamage doubts if targeted tax cuts spur job growth in, “Governor to outline jobs plan in speech.”