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Category Archives: Securities Law

Coding and Collaboration: Data Analytics in the Law School Classroom

Alexander, Charlotte and Iannarone, Nicole G., Coding and Collaboration: Data Analytics in the Law School Classroom (June 2021). Forthcoming, Transactions: Tennessee Journal of Business Law, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3965047 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3965047

“Technological advances provide opportunities for lawyers to deliver sophisticated – and cost effective – legal advice. A basic understanding of the emerging field of legal analytics, which employs computational and statistical modeling, analysis, and visualization of legal data to accomplish both descriptive and predictive goals, helps lawyers better serve their clients while meeting their ethical responsibility to understand the benefits and risks of technology in law practice. Lawyers and technologists have much to learn from each other and their respective fields. They must also learn to collaborate. In this session at the 2021 Emory Transactional Law & Skills Conference, we provided an overview of a co-taught Legal Analytics course that brought together law and master’s level computational analytics students to teach and learn from each other as they approached a real-world analytics problem. For analytics students, the course provided an introduction to the U.S. legal system and legal reasoning, the types of legal materials that analytics projects might analyze, and the problems and questions present in the law. For law students, the course offered an introduction to basic computer coding, as well as to the theory and applications of text mining, natural language processing, machine learning and other methods for managing and analyzing unstructured data such as that found in legal documents. Working in teams, students learned and deployed analytics skills to extract information from large numbers of legal documents, identify patterns, and attempt to predict future outcomes. Our remarks describe the collaborative, experiential approach taken in delivering the course material and student learning outcomes as student teams worked together to apply data analytics tools to derive insight from FINRA securities arbitration awards. “

A 2011 dictionary is reshaping the language of corporate reporting

Quartz – “A new corporate principle is: Never say you’re restating anything. The machines will hold it against you. Over the past decade, “restatement” is the word companies have most strenuously tried to avoid in the text of their filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to an upcoming paper by academics at Georgia… Continue Reading

COVID-19 Liability: Tort, Workplace Safety, and Securities Law

CRS report via LC – COVID-19 Liability: Tort, Workplace Safety, and Securities Law, September 24, 2020: “Although the COVID-19 pandemic is still unfolding, a number of plaintiffs have already filed lawsuits seeking compensation for COVID-19-related injuries. Some stakeholders have expressed concern that the risk of COVID-19-related lawsuits threatens a range of businesses and other entities… Continue Reading

How to make sure Google automatically deletes your data on a regular basis

Vox: “…The company announced on Wednesday that auto-delete will be the default setting for user account activity settings. That said, this “default” setting only applies to new accounts or existing accounts that now turn on data retention after having it disabled. And the default auto-delete time still gives Google as much as three years of… Continue Reading

SEC is plugged into the potential pitfalls of making Covid-19 vaccines

Via Quartz: SEC filings tell us a lot about the potential pitfalls of making Covid-19 vaccines. Companies working on vaccines detail how unlikely it is for a trial to fail, and it underscores how vaccines aren’t a magic bullet—total public health must be considered if we’re going to make progress….Enter 8-K forms. Publicly-traded companies are required… Continue Reading

Move Fast and Break Things Law, Technology, and the Problem of Speed

Chesterman, Simon, ‘Move Fast and Break Things’: Law, Technology, and the Problem of Speed (January 8, 2020). NUS Law Working Paper 2020/001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3516032 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3516032 “Since computers entered into the mainstream in the 1960s, the efficiency with which data could be processed has raised regulatory questions. This is well understood with respect… Continue Reading

SEC Launches New Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology

“The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the launch of the agency’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub). The FinHub will serve as a resource for public engagement on the SEC’s FinTech-related issues and initiatives, such as distributed ledger technology (including digital assets), automated investment advice, digital marketplace financing, and artificial intelligence/machine learning. The FinHub… Continue Reading

Securities Regulation and Initial Coin Offerings: A Legal Primer

CRS Report – Securities Regulation and Initial Coin Offerings: A Legal Primer. August 31, 2018 R45301 “Initial coin offerings (ICOs)—a method of raising capital in exchange for digital coins or tokens that entitle their holders to certain rights—are a hot topic among legislators, regulators, and financial market professionals. In response to a surge in the… Continue Reading

OpenEDGAR: Open Source Software for SEC EDGAR Analysis

Computational Legal Studies: “Our next paper — OpenEDGAR – Open Source Software for SEC Edgar Analysis is now available.  This paper explores a range of #OpenSource tools we have developed to explore the EDGAR system operated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  While a range of more sophisticated extraction and clause classification protocols can… Continue Reading

You Can’t Opt Out Of Sharing Your Data, Even If You Didn’t Opt In

FiveThirtyEight: “…Yonatan Zunger, a former Google privacy engineer, noted we’ve known for a long time that one person’s personal information is never just their own to share. It’s the idea behind the old proverb, “Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead.” And as far back as the 1960s, said Jennifer Lynch,… Continue Reading

SEC Launches Additional Investor Protection Search Tool

News release: “The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the launch of an additional online search feature that enables investors to research whether the person trying to sell them investments has a judgment or order entered against them in an enforcement action. The new tool is intended to assist the public in making informed investment… Continue Reading

Equifax data breach fallout – hundreds of class action suits and SEC subpoena

Equifax faces hundreds of class-action lawsuits and an SEC subpoena over the way it handled its data breach “Equifax, the credit reporting firm, is facing more than 240 class-action lawsuits from consumers — in addition to suits from shareholders and financial institutions — over the way it handled a massive data breach that affected 145.5 million Americans. The… Continue Reading