Several hearings of note on Capital Hill this week.
- Tuesday, September 15, House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, "Mandatory Binding Arbitration - Is it Fair and Voluntary?" Witnesses include Rep. Hank Johnson (D-FL), sponsor of H.R. 1020, to outlaw predispute arbitration in consumer contracts. Also: Alison Hirschel, National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care; Stuart T. Rossman, National Consumer Law Center; Stephen J. Ware, University of Kansas School of Law; and Cliff Palefsky, National Employment Lawyers Association.
- Thursday, September 15, Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs, "Evaluating S. 1551: The Liability for Aiding and Abetting Securities Violations Act of 2009." S. 1551 is Sen. Arlen Specter's bill to amend the SEC Act of 1934 subject to liability in a private civil action any person that knowingly or recklessly provides substantial assistance to another person (aids and abets) in violation of that act. The Senator's goal is to restore the ability to sue third parties in securities fraud lawsuits as freely as you could before the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Stoneridge v. Scientific Atlanta (Supreme Court docket). Scheduled witnesses are John C. Coffee, Columbia University School of Law; Patrick J Szymanski, General Counsel, Change to Win (a group of labor unions); Tanya Solov, Director, Illinois Securities Department, of behalf of the North American Securities Administrators Association; Robert J. Giuffra, Jr., a partner in Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, NYC; and Adam C. Pritchard, University of Michigan Law School.
- Also Thursday, Senate Judiciary continues to mark up S. 448, the Free Flow of Information Act, i.e., the media shield; and S.369, Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act.