September 2, 2020
Professor Brett McDonnell was quoted in a CFO Journal article in the Wall Street Journal on the recent public listing of Lemonade, Inc. Lemonade, an insurer, is organized as a public benefit corporation. The article quotes McDonnell on the requirements and reasons for being a benefit corporation. “This is our way, a way of committing to you: If you give us your money, we’re going to make some money,” he said. “But we’re also going to do good for the world.”
September 1, 2020
Professor Daniel Schwarcz was recently featured on the popular podcast “Planet Money.” In the podcast, Professor Schwarcz discusses the history of property insurance policies and helps to explain how important economic concepts like moral hazard and adverse selection help to explain how insurance policies are drafted.
August 31, 2020
Professor Paul Vaaler wrote a brief commentary in WalletHub regarding near-term stock market trends amidst recent COVID-19 evolutions.
August 21, 2020
An August 21, 2020 Bloomberg Law article titled “Sweat the Small Stuff: Lessons of Federal Circuit Damages Cases” discusses six recent decisions of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on damages for patent infringement. The article quotes Professor Tom Cotter as stating, among other things, that these decisions show “how important small things,” such as the rules requiring patent “marking,” can be. “The marking cases … are ‘probably rather obscure even to many people in the IP world,’ Cotter said. But patent owners limit their damages if they don’t comply with the statute’s technicalities, he said in an email.”
August 10, 2020
“Insurers that opted into the class action and litigation funders that purchased insurer claims are sophisticated businesses. Arguably, they don’t need the same kind of protection from large fees that unsophisticated consumers would need.” This is what Professor Herbert Kritzer had to say about potential challenges to a $185 million fee request by Quinn Emanuel for representing insurers in a suit in which the insurers recovered $3.7 billion of compensation the plaintiffs were owed by the federal government under the Affordable Care Act. Kritzer was interviewed by a reporter from Bloomberg News, and comments from that interview were included in an article about the fee request appearing in the ABA Journal. The insurers Quinn Emanuel represented had been told that if the claim were successful, the firm would seek a fee up to 5% of the amount recovered. At least some of the insurers subsequently sold their interest in any recovery at a discount, and there was speculation that some of the insurers who had not sold their claims and some of the purchasers of the claims from other insurers would not challenge the fee request as excessive based on it working out to more than $18,000 per hour for the work Quinn Emanuel put into the case.
Prof. Vaaler Quoted in Star Tribune Column on President Trump's Proposed Ban of China-Based Video Sharing and Networking Service TikTokAugust 8, 2020
John and Bruce Mooty Chair in Law & Business Professor Paul M. Vaaler was quoted in John Rash’s Star Tribune column on President Trump’s threat to ban China-based TikTok. Professor Vaaler noted the threat his ban and proposed sale to Microsoft pose to international trade and investment regime norms.
Prof. Vaaler Quoted in Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal on CEO Compensation and Corporate Governance Trends During COVID-19 PandemicAugust 7, 2020
John and Bruce Mooty Chair in Law & Business, Professor Paul M. Vaaler, was interviewed last month by a reporter from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal (subscription required) for insight on non-salary CEO compensation trends during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Professor Vaaler pointed out how non-salary, often stock-based compensation, comprises a much larger percentage of overall compensation for CEOs, thus cutting salaries is more symbolic than real and substantial. The run-up in stock prices since March follows largely from extraordinary fiscal and monetary stimulus rather than strategic initiatives by firm CEOs. Corporate boards need to adjust overall CEO compensation, including non-salary stock-based components to incent faster adaptation to current pandemic and post-pandemic conditions in the near term.
August 6, 2020
Professor Myron Orfield, director of the Law School’s Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity, was quoted in Quartz in an article examining racial disparities in economic advantages in urban areas across the United States. The article cites research produced by the Institute that found that areas that underwent a strong economic expansion between 2000 and 2016 were less likely to have Black residents and more likely to have a surge in white residents. “The dry tinder [for the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd] was racial and social inequality,” added Orfield.
Prof. Wolf to Lead Ethics & Public Policy Component of New Center Funded by $26 Million Grant from National Science FoundationAugust 5, 2020
Professor Susan Wolf will lead the Ethics & Public Policy component of a new Engineering Research Center (ERC) on Advanced Technologies for the Preservation of Biological Systems (ATP-Bio) based at the University’s Institute for Engineering in Medicine and funded by a $26 million grant from the National Science Foundation. ATP-Bio will focus on new approaches to biopreservation to transform organ transplantation and other biological therapies, advance a sustainable global food supply, preserve biodiversity, and improve treatment of physical trauma. ATP-Bio research will put ethics and public policy at the forefront by conducting and publishing ethical analyses and engaging policy leaders to anticipate and consider the impacts of ATP-Bio research. Professor Wolf will work with faculty at the University of Minnesota and the cooperating ATP-Bio institutions (Massachusetts General Hospital, UC Riverside, and UC Berkeley) as well as an Ethics Advisory Panel. Read more about ATP-Bio here.
August 5, 2020
Professor Amy Monahan co-authored an opinion piece in The Hill on the merits of an employer-focused public health care option. The op-ed argues that the Unity Task Force’s recent recommendations miss the opportunity to make more transformative progress by failing to target decision-makers who could make a real difference regarding health care enrollment: employers.