January 25, 2018
January 24, 2018
Retired attorney Bruce Craig would welcome hearing from law professors interested in the following issue (you may reach Mr. Craig at brucecrai-at-gmail-dot-com):
As a former assistant attorney general (Wis.) I litigated against a number of pyramid schemes starting in 1968 and ending, for all practical purposes, in 1979 when the FTC ruled in favor of Amway. Now retired, living in New York, and still involved with this issue to a limited extent.
Since 1979, and Reagan, Amway has become a $9 billion/yr world-wide operation, the overall industry's annual revenues about $150 billion. Qualified estimates indicate that the loss ratio of participants in these operations exceeds 95%.
Not only has this made the pyramid owners billionaires but, as a direct result, it has also funded a political and governmental machine that has fundamentally suppressed any meaningful enforcement or legislative oversight. This is primarily the result of the victims of these schemes being politically invisible to both sides of the aisle and ignored on the basis they didn't work hard enough. Victims seldom file complaints as they feel they were part of an illegal process and involved family members and friends.
The press has primarily focused on disputes between Wall Street titans and not on the ethical and legal underpinnings which have enabled this to happen. Unfortunately, it appears the legal academia has not examined this as well.
At present, there is no formal legal distinction between pyramid schemes and "Multi-Level Marketing", with limited enforcement only after the fact. This phenomenon has enabled those not yet sued to claim they are legal MLM and not illegal pyramid schemes.
Given the significant and continuing massive losses, incurred by those mostly in the lower part of the middle class. This note is to inquire whether legal scholars might be interested in exploring the issue. From a philosophical standpoint I've noticed that the investment and financial communities seem to ignore the underlying damage caused by those listed on the NYSE.
This is far beyond my competence, but I offered to share this with the community of legal scholars and legal theorists, some of whom might be able to help.
January 18, 2018
The full document here. I may say more when I've had a chance to digest it. Signed reader comments welcome (full name required, valid e-mail address); submit comment only once, it may take awhile to appear.
January 10, 2018
January 02, 2018
Jerry Organ (St. Thomas) collects the data. The decline in the applicant pool during this time has presumably put prospective students in a stronger negotiating position, which probably explains the decline in the offers of scholarships contingent on academic performance.
December 19, 2017
Matthew Petersen withdraws from further consideration for a federal district judgeship in wake of questioning by Senator Kennedy (R-LA) showing that he didn't know what the Daubert standard was and didn't know what a motion in limine is, among other rather remarkable gaps in his knowledge for someone aspiring to be a trial judge! (Here's the full questioning by Senator Kennedy, who is an experienced lawyer and also, like Mr. Petersen, a graduate of the University of Virginia Law School.)
December 18, 2017
Jerry Organ updates his data for 2017. Taking large numbers of transfer students--whose credentials are invisible to the US News ranking gods--can allow a school to take a smaller 1L class (whose credentials are reported to the ranking gods) while still generating tuition revenue. Of course, not all schools take transfers for that reason, but the larger the numbers, the more likely that is part of the consideration.
December 15, 2017
Chief Judge of 9th Circuit initiates investigation into allegations of misconduct against Judge Kozinski
December 14, 2017
I missed this story while I was travelling, but it is quite significant, since it would cap loans for, say, legal education at $28,500 per year, which will result, I expect, in a collapse in enrollments at some law schools and probably put some financial stress on all law schools to increase their own financial aid or limit tuition increases. It may also push more students into the private loan market, though some private lenders may undertake more due diligence regarding the school for which the loan is to be utilized.
More details and information? Comments are open; submit the comment only once, they may take awhile to appear.