Omnicare Provides an Opportunity to Review Scienter Standard

By: Joshua Halen, 3L, Managing Editor of Publication

In 2007, the Private Securities Litigation reform Act (“PSLRA”) undertook a major change when the United States Supreme Court issued its ruling in Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights, 551 U.S. 308 (2007). Prior to this, there was confusion over the application of the PSLRA’s intent requirement. The PSLRA requires plaintiffs to “state with particularity facts giving rise to a strong inference that the defendant acted with the required state of mind (scienter).” Several circuits interpreted this requirement differently. This circuit split led the Court to hear arguments in Tellabs. In defining what the PSLRA’s requirements were, the Court stated that strong inference meant “more than merely plausible or reasonable- it must be cogent and at least as compelling as any opposing inference of nonfraudlent intent” and that courts must view all allegations of scienter collectively. Tellabs, 551 U.S. at 314.

Bitcoin: Don’t Credit Cards and PayPal Work Just Fine for Internet Transactions?

By: Andrew Burrows, 2L, Journal Staff Member

Bitcoin, a type of digital currency, has risen from a position of relative obscurity over the past couple of years. As Sunny Freeman states in Huffington Post article, this is for both positive and negative reasons. From a 5,000 percent spike in demand for Bitcoin in 2013, to the seizure of nearly 25 million dollars worth of the currency due to its use in criminal activity, Bitcoin has been controversial to say the least. In light of these events, the obvious question becomes: why choose Bitcoin for your online purchases over tried and true payment methods like PayPal or a credit card?

Making Cents of Bitcoin

By: Alan Williams, 3L, Journal Staff Member

In her article, Bitcoin, its legal classification and its regulatory framework, that is set to be published in Issue 1, Volume 15 of the Michigan State University College of Law Journal of Business and Securities Law, Tara Mandjee discusses the legal and regulatory issues surrounding Bitcoin, the cyber-currency that has both taken the internet by storm, and made regulators re-think on-line financial transactions.

Bitcoin Phenomenon Leads to Uncertainties

By: Millicent Thompson, 3L, Journal Staff Member

Ever since software developer Satoshi Nakamoto proposed Bitcoin in 2008 it has continued to spread rapidly worldwide. Bitcoin is unique as it is a form of digital currency. It is, however, different from conventional currency because of its decentralized meaning; no single institution controls the Bitcoin network.  People tend to favor Bitcoin because one large bank cannot control their money. John Naughton, a professor of public understanding of technology at the Open University previously wrote, “the Bitcoin phenomenon is one of the most intriguing things to have happened to cyberspace since the invention of the peer-to-peer networking.”

The Volatility of Bitcoin: Is it a Worthy Investment?

By: Rachel Pickard, 3L, Journal Staff Member

Bitcoin is a form of digital currency, which is both created and held electronically.  It has generated a lot of headlines since its inception in 2009, usually due to the volatile nature of the value of Bitcoin. This has left many people wondering: is it worth the risk to invest in Bitcoin?

Admit nor Deny Consent Decrees after SEC v. Citigroup

By: Hillary Szawala, 3L, Journal Staff Member

In her recent article, Lessons from SEC v. Citigroup: The Optimal Scope for Judicial Review of Agency Consent Decrees, that is set to be published in Volume 15, Issue 1 of the Michigan State University Journal of Business & Securities Law, author Dorothy Shapiro argued for stronger guidance regarding the proper scope of judicial review for agency consent decrees. In S.E.C. v. Citigroup Global Markets, Inc., the Second Circuit held that the appropriate standard for reviewing a proposed consent judgment in an SEC enforcement action is limited to a determination of whether the judgment is “fair and reasonable” and whether the public interest would be disserved. Additionally, the court found that the district court could not reject a settlement on the basis of a “neither admit-nor-deny” provision nor require the parties to establish the “truth” of the SEC’s allegations.

SEC Settlements: A Rubber-Stamp Guaranteed?

By: Erin Frazer, 3L, Journal Staff Member

On August 5, 2014, a Federal District Court Judge, Judge Rakoff, finally approved a settlement that was entered into by Citigroup and the SEC in 2011. This settlement stems from an SEC complaint against Citigroup that concerned a 2007 sale of mortgage-linked securities debt, which caused more than $700 million of investor losses. Judge Rakoff's controversial decision is discussed at length in Dorothy Shapiro's article, Lessons from SEC v. Citigroup: The Optimal Scope for Judicial Review of Agency Consent Decrees.

Marriott Agrees to $600,000 Civil Penalty in Recent Consent Decree

By: Erica Walle, 2L, Journal Staff Member

Have you ever wondered why your Wi-Fi doesn’t seem to work like it should when you’re at a hotel? A recent Federal Communications Commission complaint against Marriott International might hold the answer.  In her October 4, 2014, CNN article, Katia Hetter explains that Marriott has agreed to pay a fine after the FCC found out that Marriott has been blocking consumer Wi-Fi networks in its Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville.  Marriott profited by blocking consumer’s Wi-Fi hotspots in conference facilities and, at the same time, charging conference organizers between $250 and $1,000 to use the resort’s Wi-Fi.

(Re-)Starting Up Detroit

By: Paige Szymanski, 2L, Journal Staff Member

The start-up movement has taken hold of the city and is driving innovation and entrepreneurship.  Last month, the Detroit News reported an 84 percent increase in venture investment professions in the city coupled with a 50 percent increase in venture capital firms.

Using Content to Communicate Value

By: Katrina Brundage, 2L, Journal Staff Member

Throughout the blogosphere, individuals are talking about the changing market of legal services. As technology continues to disrupt and take over the business world, the legal industry has been faced with issues of being out of touch with clients and the twenty-first century world. So the question is: How can lawyers get up to speed and better connect with clients? How can lawyers communicate value in a world where consumers go to Google to solve most of their problems?


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