Reynolds's Feed
May 6, 2012
via Breakingviews

M&A spin doctors take a thumping on the record

Photo

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
via Breakingviews

Twitter gives peace a chance in patent wars

Photo

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
via Breakingviews

Law school deans could do with some Econ 101

Photo

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
via Breakingviews

If Apple, publishers plotted they didn’t need to

Photo

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
via Breakingviews

Obama backs healthcare defender – until he doesn’t

Photo

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
via Breakingviews

Top U.S. judges may drown out healthcare debate

Photo

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.

Mar 20, 2012
via Breakingviews

Judges’ words can speak as loudly as actions

Photo

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

Judges may not need a big stick. Delaware Chancellor Leo Strine and U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff have become known for tough and snarky rulings, including recent ones that thumped Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. They weren’t just venting, though. When ordinary legal constraints fall short, jurists can use the bully pulpit to right some wrongs.

Strine’s recent conflicts of interest opinion has become an instant classic. It railed against Goldman and others involved in the $21 billion sale of El Paso to Kinder Morgan. Though his decision went viral on Wall Street, the judge also took some heat for not actually blocking the deal after being so critical of the conduct.

Mar 16, 2012
via Breakingviews

Greedy law schools taught jobless grads too well

Photo

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

Greedy law schools may have taught their jobless graduates a little too well. Some disgruntled lawyers are suing their alma maters for exaggerating employment prospects. That seems fitting for a litigious lot with buyers’ remorse over a $120,000 education. The lousy job market isn’t the schools’ fault, but training these cheeky legal eagles to spread their wings may be.

On the surface, the suits seem a stretch. Scores of graduates from New York Law, Michigan’s Thomas M. Cooley Law and other lower-tier schools want refunds because they didn’t get the legal jobs they were supposedly promised. They cite school statistics touting more than 90 percent employment rates for recent graduates. The schools stress that the figures, while essentially accurate, guarantee nothing, and lawyers should have known the job market was shaky.

Mar 9, 2012
via Breakingviews

M&A lawyers lob stones at Goldman from glass house

Photo

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

M&A lawyers tossed stones at Goldman Sachs from a glass house. Debate over how the bank played both sides of the El Paso sale to Kinder Morgan drowned out other hot topics at this week’s dealmaker jamboree in New Orleans. Bankers and chief executives took beatings over other conflicts of interest, too. For an event organized by and for mainly attorneys, however, there was surprisingly little self-reflection.

    • 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 ..."
    • Follow Reynolds