CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, September 11, 2020

Verstein on Mixed Motives Insider Trading

Andrew Verstein (University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law) has posted Mixed Motives Insider Trading (Iowa Law Review, Vol. 106, 2020) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
 
If you trade securities on the basis of careful research, then you are a brilliant and shrewd investor. If you trade on the basis of a hot tip from your brother-in-law, an investment banker, then you are a criminal. What if you trade for both reasons?

There is no single answer, thanks to a three-way circuit split. Some courts would forgive you according to your lawful trading motives, some would convict you in keeping with your bad motives, and some would hand the issue to the jury. Sometimes called the “awareness/use” debate or the “possession/use” debate, the proper treatment of mixed motive traders has occupied dozens of law review articles over the last thirty years.


This Article demonstrates that courts and scholars have so far followed the wrong reasons to the wrong answers. Instead, this Article takes trader motives seriously, drawing on insights and solutions from the broader jurisprudence of mixed motive. This analysis generates a new legal test and demonstrates the test’s superiority.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/crimprof_blog/2020/09/verstein-on-mixed-motives-insider-trading.html

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