Reynolds's Feed
May 15, 2012
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Oracle suit gives Google a chance not to be evil

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By Reynolds Holding
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

An Oracle lawsuit is giving Google a golden opportunity to regain its non-evil image. The search giant has been thumped lately on privacy, antitrust and governance grounds. But it looks almost virtuous in a patent spat with Larry Ellison’s Oracle.

May 14, 2012
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Murky U.S. bribery law gets a dose of clarity

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By Reynolds Holding
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

America’s murky bribery law is finally getting a dose of clarity. Morgan Stanley showed last month how to avoid legal charges for infractions by one of its executives, and an appeals court will soon define whose palm cannot be greased. That’s good news for multinationals sweating unpredictable enforcement of a confusing statute.

May 9, 2012
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Judges can be tough without getting personal

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By Reynolds Holding 

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

U.S. judges can be plenty tough without getting personal. Few can send a chill up business spines faster than Delaware Chancellor Leo Strine. He honors a rich tradition of tart lectures from the state’s bench. But his recent scolding of sand and gravel firm Martin Marietta Materials and its spin doctors, though on target, sounded a bit catty.

May 6, 2012
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M&A spin doctors take a thumping on the record

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By Reynolds Holding 

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Wall Street’s M&A spin doctors have taken a thumping on the record. Delaware Judge Leo Strine has called out two firms – Kekst and Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher – for blabbing confidential information in Martin Marietta Material’s hostile $5.3 billion offer for rival Vulcan. The sand-and-gravel outfit will pay the price of a court order delaying the bid. But the general reputation of deal flacks won’t emerge unscathed.

Apr 19, 2012
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Twitter gives peace a chance in patent wars

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By Reynolds Holding
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

All we are tweeting is give peace a chance. Twitter is going to allow its engineer-inventors to veto lawsuits against alleged infringers of patents they develop. That’s a model for curbing the kind of expensive legal salvos that Apple, Microsoft and others are lobbing just to slow each other down. If the rest of the technology world one day falls in line, innovation could benefit.

Apr 17, 2012
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Law school deans could do with some Econ 101

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By Reynolds Holding
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

U.S. law school deans could do with a little Econ 101. Tuition at the likes of Yale and Stanford keeps rising faster than inflation, despite a dwindling supply of aspiring lawyers. And job prospects for graduates are getting worse. For all their sophisticated skills, legal educators still haven’t mastered the law of supply and demand.

The young often weather periods of high unemployment by flocking to graduate school. After the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, for instance, the number of law school applicants soared some 40 percent, reaching a peak of almost 99,000 in 2004. But in the recent downturn, applications to many professional schools have been about as scarce as jobs.

Apr 12, 2012
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If Apple, publishers plotted they didn’t need to

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By Reynolds Holding

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

If Apple and a clutch of publishers plotted together, they didn’t need to. U.S. trustbusters say the iPad maker and five electronic book producers conspired to raise download prices. But the model they came up with makes sense even without collusion, giving the publishers perhaps their best chance of survival.

Mar 29, 2012
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Obama backs healthcare defender – until he doesn’t

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By Reynolds Holding 

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Donald Verrilli may have had a Billy Martin moment. Despite the U.S. solicitor general’s stumbling effort defending President Barack Obama’s healthcare law before the Supreme Court this week, the White House gave him a vote of confidence. That’s what Martin, the volatile New York Yankees manager, used to get just before he was fired. Verrilli’s miss may not change the case’s outcome, but it costs him credibility – if not his job.

Mar 28, 2012

Breakingviews: Gupta’s quiet win is loud warning for prosecutors

By Reynolds Holding

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)

(Reuters Breakingviews) A quiet win for accused insider-trader Rajat Gupta should be a loud warning for prosecutors. Granting the former Goldman Sachs director and McKinsey boss access to U.S. government notes may help him parry charges, but it also puts teeth in rules for sharing evidence. Recent cases like the corruption trial against the late Alaska Senator Ted Stevens show prosecutors too often withhold information helpful to the defense.

Mar 23, 2012
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Top U.S. judges may drown out healthcare debate

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By Reynolds Holding
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

America’s verbose top judges could drown out the healthcare debate if they’re not careful. The most talkative Supreme Court on record will next week hear a hefty three days of oral argument on President Barack Obama’s landmark reform. If past patterns hold, the justices will spend more time testing each other than listening to the lawyers for each side.

Supreme Court arguments typically last an hour, a 1970 rule designed to keep cases moving and ensure the justices control the debate. Exceptions are made for the biggest cases. Presidential-tapes landmark United States v. Nixon, for instance, clocked in at four hours in 1974, while McConnell v. FEC, which upheld campaign finance laws in 2003, took eight lawyers four hours to hash out.

    • About Reynolds

      "Reynolds Holding is a Breakingviews columnist who writes from New York about the law in conjunction with Reuters Legal. Before joining Breakingviews, he was a national editorial producer for the Law & Justice Unit at ABC News, a senior writer for Time magazine and the executive editor of Legal Affairs, the first general interest magazine about the law. He spent more than a decade as an investigative reporter and columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle, where he was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist for explanatory writing. Before becoming a journalist, he practiced corporate law at the New York firm of ..."
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