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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?

Startup Spending

By: Jordan Sayfie, 2L, Journal Staff Member

The potential value of today’s startup companies can be mind-blowing. Take, for example, Facebook’s recent acquisition of WhatsApp, a deal valued at approximately 21.8 billion dollars. With this sort of potential, startup companies are scrambling to develop, expand, and flourish. With this end goal in mind, many startups seem to be tailoring their business model to the idea that “you have to spend money to make money.”

Closing Gap Between Startup Needs And Lawyer Demands

By: Andrew Horne, 3L, Journal Staff Member

They may have differing opinions on how things should be done. They may have conflicting notions about who should be doing those things. They may even have contrary ideas about what the future holds. But one thing is certain, startup companies and lawyers go hand-in-hand in the “small market” business world.

As Alison Weinberg and Jamie Heine outline in Counseling the Startup: How Attorneys Can Add Value to Startup Clients’ Businesses, which is set to be published in Volume 15, Issue 1 of the Michigan State University Journal of Business & Securities Law, whether it is for financial concerns, a lack of understanding, or out of pure headstrong spite, entrepreneurs fail to seek the appropriate legal counseling for issues related to their startups before it’s too late.

The Importance of the Corporate Veil

By: Charles Cavanagh, 3L, Journal Staff Member

In her recent article, Preserving Entity Shielding: How Corporations Should Respond to Reverse Piercing of the Corporate Veil, author Kathryn Hespe pointed to the importance of the corporate veil in terms of protecting the shareholders of a corporation.  For Carlyle Group LP (CG), the importance of the corporate veil became all too apparent in its recent dealings in Brazil. 

The New Technologies of Debt Collection: Why it Matters Who Your Friends Are

By: Hillary Szawala, 2L, Journal Staff Member

Perhaps there is nothing more exhilarating than logging into Facebook and seeing that glorious red notification pop-up indicating that you have a new friend request; however modern debt collection practices, including the use of social media to either harass a debtor-user or impersonate a debtor-user’s friend, should make all of us think twice before we click “confirm.”

Hedge Funds and Systemic Risk

By: Bonnie North, 3L, Journal Staff Member

Bonnie NorthWe are now in the year 2014 and the financial crisis that occurred in 2007-2008 should be well behind us. Although the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is authorized through the Dodd-Frank Act to work on numerous rules, it appears that the SEC has been slow to issue regulations that would help to safeguard the American economy in the future. In his New York Times Article “Pick Up the Pace at the S.E.C.”, Simon Johnson seems to agree that the SEC should move more quickly with regard to its systemic stability regulations.

Holistic Review of Scienter Pleading Becomes a Black Hole for Plaintiffs’ Attorneys

By: Robert Wright, 2L, Journal Staff Member

Robert Wright

Failure to establish the "strong inference" of scienter under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) presents one of the biggest problems for plaintiffs’ attorneys in securities litigation.  The difficulties facing plaintiffs’ attorneys is a result of confusion in U.S. District and Circuit Courts, which have time and again misconstrued the scienter analysis established by the United States Supreme Court case of Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd. and its progeny.  In Tellabs, the Court sought to clarify the necessary steps in a scienter analysis by looking at each scienter-related allegation individually, and then determining the probative value of the scienter-related issue collectively.  This "holistic" review has been misinterpreted by lower courts that either consider only individual scrutiny or disregard it entirely in favor of reviewing allegations collectively.  Such analysis short-changes plaintiffs by failing to provide them with the necessary inferences to survive a motion to dismiss.  

Hedge Funds and the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

By: Varun Sharma, 3L, Journal Staff Member

When Russia invaded the self-autonomous region Crimea in Ukraine, global financial markets tumbled.  According to Politico, the Russian Micex index dropped 11% and its currency the ruble fell against the dollar.  However, the global financial markets bounced back after Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Russia would not send troops into mainland Ukraine. 

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