Symposia, Lectures, and Roundtables

A Range of Exciting Programs

The Center’s programs bring together scholars, practitioners, regulators, and judges to study how best to improve the functioning of a market-based economy. Among the programs regularly held are:

The Brooklyn Journal for Corporate, Financial and Commercial Law annual symposium draws academics, government officials, and practitioners to the Law School to discuss timely issues in the field. The inaugural symposium of the Center will reflect on the Consumer Protection Bureau after its first year of operation.

The Barry L. Zaretsky Roundtable Series honors the late Professor Barry L. Zaretsky, a beloved mentor, distinguished scholar of bankruptcy and commercial law, and a dedicated classroom teacher. His work inside and outside the classroom bridged the worlds of theory and practice in these fields. The roundtable program joins a distinguished panel of practitioners, judges and academics to discuss cutting-edge bankruptcy and commercial law topics. Students also join the conversation, spurring further exploration of difficult questions in this area.

The Abraham L. Pomerantz Lecture commemorates the life and work of Abraham Pomerantz, a 1924 graduate of the Law School. He is considered by many to have been the "dean of the class action bar." Pomerantz pioneered suits by small shareholders against officials of big corporations and specialized in so-called derivative suits, in which the company receives the award and passes it on to all stockholders. The biennial lecture focuses on topics of corporate securities law and related issues of professional responsibility that brings nationally-recognized scholars to the Law School to debate a timely topic. The law firm of Pomerantz LLP, of which Abraham Pomerantz was the founding partner, provides continuing support for this series.

Past Programs and Events

  • View Agenda and Panelists.

    About the Symposium
    In recent years, technology has become an inseparable part of the compliance function in financial services. Compliance officers, whose mission is to ensure that business is conducted in accordance with law and regulation, must have technological resources at their command to match those of employees on the business side and to complement the oversight of financial regulators who are developing their own technological capabilities. In addition, because technology enables the automation of many compliance tasks and increases compliance officers’ productivity, it may even result in a decrease in the number of compliance officers, just when compliance has become a recognized control function in financial firms.

    This daylong symposium will explore the issues arising from the relationship between compliance and technology. Scholars will offer their views on recent developments and their implications for compliance. Compliance officers and specialists in practical compliance will react to the scholars’ accounts and share their perspectives about the use of technology in compliance. The goal of the conference is to encourage conversations between the academy and compliance practitioners and to add to the growing body of work in the field.

    Co-Sponsors: Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial and Commercial Law and the Center for the Study of Business Law and Regulation

  • About the Symposium
    A number of “safe harbors” or “immunities” are currently incorporated into the Bankruptcy Code and international instruments such as the UNCITRAL Legislative Guide. The articulated concern that motivated the safe harbors was clearance or intermediary risk. The 2008 financial crisis and the collapse of Lehman Brothers prompted a second set of adjustments at the intersection of the bankruptcy and bank resolution regimes that were aimed at addressing the “Too Big To Fail” risk. The legislative response to Lehman’s failure took the form of Title II of the Dodd-Frank bill.

    The goal of this symposium will be to explore the relationship between systemic risk in the banking system and in enterprise bankruptcy, and domestic and international approaches to harmonizing the various regimes.

    Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Business Law and Regulation.

    View the agenda and panel participants.

  • View the program's agenda and panelists.

    Co-Sponsored by the International Insolvency Institute and Brooklyn Law School's Center for the Study of Business Law and Regulation

    As the world becomes ever more interconnected, insolvency and business restructurings have become global phenomena. Unfortunately, territorial differences often combine with complex corporate structures to frustrate the coordinated global administration of a bankruptcy case. Clear and predictable choice of law rules can ease the administration of cross-border bankruptcy cases and facilitate cooperation among courts, especially where important local policy choices are embedded in domestic commercial law. 

    Existing international instruments, such as the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law, the EU Insolvency Regulation, and the UNCITRAL Legislative Guide, seek to administer a firm’s bankruptcy across national boundaries through a procedurally coordinated case based at the debtor’s center of main interest (COMI). This procedural centralization does not, however, determine which legal questions will be determined by choice of forum, and when and whether a forum court may apply foreign law. The current state of the law is uncertain: The Model Law is silent on this question; the Legislative Guide take an approach that gives fairly broad application to the bankruptcy law of the debtor’s COMI; while the EU has proposed changes to the EU Regulation to permit a forum court to apply foreign priorities under certain circumstances. 

    Through presentations by a distinguished international faculty - all closely involved in the evolving practice and law reform efforts - the conference will explore how and whether harmonized choice of law rules might facilitate coordination and cooperation in cross-border bankruptcy cases. 

  • Co-sponsors
    The Center for the Study of Business Law and Regulation
    Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial and Commercial Law

    About the Symposium 
    Over the past decade, the compliance function in financial firms, in particular broker-dealers and investment advisers, has grown in size and importance. While this phenomenon is an integral part of life for compliance officers and legal practitioners who advise these firms, compliance has received relatively little attention from legal scholars. This symposium will provide the opportunity for financial and securities law scholars to evaluate and criticize, from their respective theoretical perspectives, the growing importance of compliance in financial firms, as well as comment upon particular compliance duties and issues. The conference includes noted legal practitioners, compliance specialists and regulators, who can assist the scholars in their reflection and offer their own perspectives and insights on the compliance phenomenon.

    View the agenda 

  • About the Symposium
    In July 2010, The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). In September 2010, President Obama and Treasury Secretary Geithner named Elizabeth Warren as Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the CFPB. The CFPB has been politically controversial from the beginning. Indeed, several Congressional bills have already been proposed to alter its structure and to limit its authority. Richard Cordray, former Attorney General of Ohio, has been named the first CFPB Director.

    This conference will look at the CFPB in its first year and evaluate what it has accomplished so far, and future initiatives it may undertake. It will bring together CFPB officials, practitioners, and academics who are uniquely qualified to examine these issues. The participants will also discuss how best to protect consumer borrowers from lender overreaching in a manner that is sensitive to the functioning of credit markets and the banking system.

    Please see the full Agenda here.

  • About the Symposium
    The 2008 financial crisis threatened the stability of financial institutions worldwide and focused attention on firms, financial or otherwise, that might be deemed “Too Big to Fail.” That crisis led directly to the creation, under the recently enacted Dodd-Frank Bill, of a “Resolution Authority” for non-bank entities whose failure might create systemic risk.

    A stand-alone resolution authority was not the only option available to policy makers. Instead, the Bankruptcy Code might have been amended to facilitate the restructuring of such institutions, and other insurance schemes might have been considered. Indeed, in other countries, a variety of approaches has been followed.

    This symposium will take a comparative look at the different strategies that have been used to deal with systemic risk, both domestically and abroad. The Resolution Authority will be considered in light of alternative domestic regimes, such as state insurance resolution, SIPC and the PBGC. The symposium will also consider the approaches followed in Germany, the UK, the EU generally, and Canada. Finally, the symposium will consider the sales of Chrysler and GM in bankruptcy.

    Throughout, the symposium will consider the complex interaction between market discipline and the role of governments in maintaining financial market stability. Dodd-Frank is neither the starting point nor the end point of the theoretical and policy discussions, and this program will inform both.

    Symposium Co-Chairs
    Professor Edward J. Janger
    Professor Roberta S. Karmel

    Co-Sponsors
    Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial and Commercial Law
    was founded in 2005 as a student-run academic law journal, focusing on corporate, financial and commercial law subjects, including securities and bankruptcy law. The Journal hosts an annual symposium devoted to a business-related topic, at which current and significant questions of legal policy can be addressed by both academics and practitioners. The Journal publishes articles from leading scholars and student-prepared notes.

  • About the Program
    In the modern payment system tremendous amounts of data flow between and among financial institutions, consumers, merchants and data processors.  Some of the data is shared to effectuate transactions.  Other data is shared for customer service and marketing purposes.  Data privacy law governs the question of what uses of this information are appropriate. Data security law governs the ways in which such data must be secured from inadvertent disclosure.  The two subjects are linked but they raise very different sets of regulatory questions.  Consumers are often surprised at how their data is used, and protecting their expectations is important.  They are, however, frequently harmed when financial institutions fail to safeguard customer data.  Identity theft and other forms of fraud cause direct harm.  These distinctions are placed in high relief where financially sensitive data is involved, and the purpose of this conference is to consider legal mechanisms for generating appropriate rules and norms for information sharing, for enforcing those norms and for mitigating harm caused by accidental data leaks.

    The conference will consider the manner in which consumers and financial institutions contract for data privacy and data security, possible regulatory responses to the limitations of a contract based regimes, and finally the possibility of a coordinated regulatory architecture to deal with and minimize the harm caused by security breaches.

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Have questions? We have answers.

Center for the Study of Business Law and Regulation
Brooklyn Law School 
250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Phone: (718) 780-7510
Email: edward.janger@brooklaw.edu
michael.gerber@brooklaw.edu