A First-Hand Look at the Interdisciplinary Approach of the HeLP Legal Services Clinic

By: Adam Harper, Spring 2018 HeLP Legal Services Clinic Intern

The HeLP Legal Services Clinic provides and emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to legal representation. At the outset of my involvement, I possessed minimal knowledge of the direction that the course would guide me. I knew that I would have the privilege of assisting underserved families who do not otherwise have access to legal services. However, I did not know exactly what that entailed.

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Friday’s Files: Regular Statements

Ben Dell’Orto, Spring 2018 IAC Student Intern

Sometimes it pays to check the mail.

Under FINRA Rule 2340 on  Customer Account Statements, brokers are required to send “a description of any securities positions, money balances, or account activity to each customer” at least each quarter, meaning every three months. Some firms and some accounts will have a monthly statement, but it will still contain the same information.

The purpose of these statements is to allow you, the investor, to keep track of what is happening in your account and when. Your statement will list out any sales or purchases your broker has made during the statement period. The statement will also include the names and quantities of each investment in the account, including the ticker symbol, an abbreviation that allows you to easily look up your securities. Continue reading

Approaches v. Answers: A Semester of Approaching Legal Work

By: Esmat Hanano, IAC Intern Spring 2018

It is very difficult to write a blog post about my semester in the Clinic, because if I wrote about everything I wanted to discuss it would certainly be too long. So in the interest of keeping whatever readers may stumble upon my Clinic story, I will try to boil my time in Clinic down to one distinction that has been a major takeaway for me. That distinction is being confident in your approach rather than your answer. An arbitrary distinction? Maybe, but it works for me and I think you’ll see the logic behind it by the end of this post as well. Continue reading

Antitrust Law in the Healthcare Industry

By: Peter Nielsen, Spring 2018 HeLP Legal Services Clinic Intern

It requires an expansive collection of federal and state antitrust laws to regulate and contain the business conglomerates that are modern healthcare corporations. The framework for antitrust enforcement is over a century old now, but was not originally created and developed specifically to manage the healthcare industry. In general, corporations merge in a manner that stifles competition through two different methods: vertical or horizontal mergers. Horizontal mergers are the classic type of monopolizing merger, where corporations attempt to absorb their direct competitors within the same market type. Vertical mergers, on the other hand, pose different dangers to consumer protection because they feature corporations attempting to acquire new lines of business in order to either add new services or completely control entire customer experiences.

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Friday’s Files: New Account Documents

Ben Dell’Orto, Spring 2018 IAC Student Intern

You have some money, and you’re ready to make it work for you, so you contact a broker to (hopefully) add a few digits to your sum. One of the earliest things you’ll receive is what FINRA calls a new account application. Though this is FINRA’s name for it, your broker might call it “a new account form, account opening form or something similar.”

The form asks for a lot of information you’d fill out before a visit to the doctor’s office, like your social security number, driver’s license number, and the information of a “trusted contact person.” The really critical things on this form include what your broker needs to create what FINRA calls an “investment profile” to determine your suitability. Your broker has an obligation to invest your money in a way that fits your specific profile, including your “age, other investments, financial situation and needs, tax status, investment objectives . . . [and] risk tolerance,” in other words, investments suitable for your individual needs.   Continue reading

IOSCO Recommends Standards for Regulators to Address Concerns with Elderly Investors

By Ben Dell’Orto, Spring 2018 IAC Student Intern

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) recently released a report on the threats specific to senior investors. The report followed the analysis of risks and causes particular to older people with an analysis of current regulations and recommended sound practices for regulators.

The report notes that many countries share the same suitability requirements as FINRA in the US, though not many countries have special protections for older investors. FINRA might be special in that it includes “age” as a factor, while other countries such as Spain simply say “in case of the provision of portfolio management and investment advice, intermediaries should take into account the knowledge, experience, financial situation and risk profile of the investor.” “Age” and “experience” are overlapping-but-different concerns, and it is important to note the difference. The SEC and FINRA have also added new regulations to protect older individuals. Continue reading

IOSCO Reports on Effects of Mental Decline on Older Investors and Advisers

By Ben Dell’Orto, Spring 2018 IAC Student Intern

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) recently released a report on the threats specific to senior investors.

While the report specifically describes dementia and mild cognitive impairment as ailments affecting the investment judgment of older people, aging takes its toll even without a specific problem. The report describes diminishing “executive control processes,” which are “related to poor decision-making, problem-solving, and planning for the future.” Continue reading