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

IOSCO Releases Report on the Vulnerability of Senior Investors

By Ben Dell’Orto, Spring 2018 IAC Student Intern

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

This is a particularly notable issue, since senior-age population percentage is only increasing. The World Health Organization predicts that “Between 2015 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s population aged 60 years or older will nearly double from 12 percent to 22 percent.” While today there are 125 million people aged 80 or older, in 2050 that number will amount to more than 400 million. 80 percent of these “older people will live in low- and middle-income countries.”

While an increase in life expectancy is certainly a positive by any metric, this means we must provide seniors with protection from unsafe investments, since they are becoming an even larger portion of the investment pool. The report notes that while the US and other developed countries are familiar with the challenges created by increasing life expectancy, many low- and middle-income countries are experiencing an even more dramatic boom.

74% of the IOSCO countries have special programs to protect seniors, though seniors are covered by other programs much of the time, not senior specific programs – only 59% have programs specific for seniors.

The report involved surveys of twelve countries and territories including the US, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, and South Africa. 89% of respondents agreed (the other 11% were “unsure”) that seniors risk falling victim to fraud or making a poor investment, and laid out recommendations which will follow in future posts.

Client Interviewing in the HeLP Clinic

By: Mary Bostwick, Spring 2018 HeLP Legal Services Clinic Intern

One of my favorite aspects of studying and working in the legal field is interacting with clients. Prior to working in the HeLP clinic, I had never conducted an interview with a client, so I was thrilled a few weeks ago when I was given the opportunity to do so. Before the meeting, my partner and I were given a few tips by our supervisors to help the meeting go more smoothly, but there are some things you just learn through experience. I want to share three of the lessons I learned from my first client interview.

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