Emory Law News Center

October 2015 In the News Archive | Emory University School of Law

Velikonja speaks on fraud victim compensation at Canadian conference

Velikonja speaks on fraud victim compensation at Canadian conference

At a Toronto conference on the new use of freeze order powers to aid fraud victim restitution, Professor Urska Velikonja discussed the SEC's fair funds, which are set up post case resolution for victim restitution. Since a new law passed in 2014, Canadian regulators received 26 freeze orders from courts involving $9 million in assets, compared to eight freezes involving $1.3 million of assets in the year prior.

SEC responds to Velikonja study on enforcement statistics

SEC responds to Velikonja study on enforcement statistics

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement actions resulted in $4.2 billion in sanctions in fiscal 2015, the SEC said, about the same level as the penalties leveled the previous year, when it handled 52 fewer actions, Reuters reports. Associate Professor Urska Velikonja's recent work faulted SEC reporting metrics, saying problems allowed the agency to "mask the fact that the core enforcement has remained steady since 2002."

Pending cases could change standard for student debt relief

Pending cases could change standard for student debt relief

One of the things that sets student loan debt apart from all other types of debt is that it's almost impossible to get rid of it. But according to a Marketplace story, a couple of cases working their way through the legal system could change that. "It seems like there's a lot of buzz and activity and maybe the climate is right to finally get some sort of resolution to this issue," said Robert T. Thompson Professor of Law Rafael Pardo, who adds that in the 10 years he's studied the topic he hasn't seen this much legal activity surrounding it.

Pound Symposium experts discuss rise of arbitration, decline in civil trials

Pound Symposium experts discuss rise of arbitration, decline in civil trials

Speakers at a symposium targeted tort reform and contracts requiring arbitration as evidence that "war" was being waged against the United States civil justice system. The panelists at the Pound Symposium, held Oct. 15 at Emory Law, did debate whether the word "war" was appropriate, according to a Daily Report story.

Brown on Marketplace: As stock wealth rises, most minorities don't own them

Brown on Marketplace: As stock wealth rises, most minorities don't own them

Credit Suisse's 2015 annual global wealth report says the top 1 percent now own half of all household wealth worldwide, and more of that wealth is coming from stocks and bonds. Unfortunately, in the U.S., "half the public doesn't own stock at all," said Vice Provost and Professor Dorothy Brown. That inevitably means the wealth gap gets wider, says MarketPlace writer Nancy Marshall-Genzer.

Jonathan R. Nash

'Effective' use of technology depends on standards of the time, Nash writes

"The Supreme Court has interpreted the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution to entitle criminal defendants to effective assistance of legal counsel," David J. Bederman Research Professor Jonathan Nash writes for The Hill, concerning Maryland v. Kulbicki. "A unanimous per curiam opinion, indicating that the justices thought the issues in the case were clear ... sheds light on what constitutes 'effective' assistance in light of evolving science and technology."

Lawsuit may affect millions with student loans, Pardo tells Bloomberg

Lawsuit may affect millions with student loans, Pardo tells Bloomberg

Unlike most debt, student loans are next to impossible to discharge through bankruptcy proceedings, because of a 1970s rule that requires an undefined standard of "undue hardship." A man whose debt stems from funding his three children's education has filed a lawsuit that could fundamentally change the way bankruptcy courts handle college debt. It's about time, says Robert T. Thompson Professor of Law Rafael Pardo. "The idea of bankruptcy is to give people respite and relief," he says. "The question is a really simple one: can you pay back your debts in the future? And if the answer is no, then why aren't you giving relief to a person?"

Blank interviewed on NPR about U.S. strike on Doctors without Borders hospital

Blank interviewed on NPR about U.S. strike on Doctors without Borders hospital

Over the weekend, a U.S. military aircraft targeted a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan, killing 22 people. The organization has called the airstrike a war crime and is asking for an independent investigation. General John F. Campbell testified that the hospital was "mistakenly struck." Laurie Blank, director of the International Humanitarian Law Clinic, spoke with NPR's Kathleen Dunn.

Laurie R. Blank

Blank for Newsweek: Was the Kunduz Bombing a War Crime? Not So Fast

The U.S. airstrike that hit the Medecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, was a horrible tragedy, writes Laurie Blank, director of the International Humanitarian Law Clinic. But was it a war crime, as the organization immediately asserted? "This incident highlights not only the challenges and tragic consequences of war in populated areas, but also the dynamic interplay between media coverage of military operations and the legal regulation of armed conflict," she says.

Laurie R. Blank

Blank for The Conversation: Was U.S. strike on Afghanistan hospital a war crime?

The U.S. airstrike that hit the Medecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, was a horrible tragedy, writes Laurie Blank, director of the International Humanitarian Law Clinic. But was it a war crime, as the organization immediately asserted? "This incident highlights not only the challenges and tragic consequences of war in populated areas, but also the dynamic interplay between media coverage of military operations and the legal regulation of armed conflict," she says.

The Guardian: Velikonja study suggests SEC is a paper tiger

The Guardian: Velikonja study suggests SEC is a paper tiger

In the 2014 fiscal year, the SEC filed 755 enforcement actions, "the highest number of cases in the history of this commission," noted SEC Chair Mary Jo White. She's also noted that the agency levied a whopping $4.1 billion in penalties as part of those actions. Associate Professor Urska Velikonja says the SEC is padding "deeply flawed" enforcement statistics. In a study slated for publication in the Cornell Law Review, she calculates that the way the agency has counted the number of cases it has pursued has made it looked like a far fiercer and more effective sheriff than it may actually be.