Saturday, April 25, 2009
I am participating in the 15th Institute of Law and Economic Policy (ILEP) conference in Scottsdale Arizona on "Recoveries for Victims of Securities Fraud." ILEP is a public policy research and educational foundation established to preserve, study and enhance access to the civil justice system by all consumers. This year the conference was co-sponsored by Iowa College of Law, which will publish the papers.
The program began Thursday evening with a lively roundtable discussion moderated by Francis McGovern (Duke) on The Role of Mediating in Compensating Plaintiffs. Other participants included Kenneth Feinberg and retired U.S. District Judge Stanley Sporkin.
Friday's morning sessions dealt with the difficult issues of Dura and Daubert as panelists discussed loss causation and damages. Frank Partnoy (San Diego) analyzed the concept of Dura fraud and the ability of management to engage in strategic behavior to mask the price decline after corrective disclosure that post-Dura courts focus on. Allen Farrell (Harvard) and Atanu Sahara (Compass Lexecon) presented a paper focusing on the foreseeability of the housing market downtown and presented data to show that it was not until the end of 2007/beginning of 2008 that the market anticipated a serious downturn in housing prices.
Michael Saks (Arizona) provided background and context on Daubert and judicial treatment of expert testimony. Fred Dunbar (NERA Economic Consultants) presented a paper on Estimating Financial Fraud Damages with Response Coefficients, and Frank Torchio (Forensic Economics) presented a paper on Proper Event Study Analysis in Securities Litigation. While the titles may sound dry, the presentations generated lively discussion and debate among the panelists and audience.
The afternoon session dealt with the Global Economy. Stephen Choi and Linda Silberman (both of NYU) presented their paper on Transnational Litigation and Global Securities Class Action Lawsuits, and Hannah Buxbaum (Indiana-Bloomington) presented her paper on Personal Jurisdiction over Foreign Directors in Cross-Border Securities Litigation.
Another session, led by Francis McGovern (Duke), focused on practical issues involving Distribution of Funds in Class Actions and Claims Administration.
Finally, SEC Commissioner Elisse Walter was the dinner speaker, speaking about reforming the regulation of broker-dealers and investment advisers and suggesting an approach that would harmonize the current inconsistent regulation and the divergent duties financial professionals owe retail investors.
I hope this brief synopsis conveys the variety and depth of the presentations at this conference. Those interested in the topic will look forward to reading the papers in final form in Iowa's Journal of Corporation Law.