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"Paying-To-Play in Securities Class Actions: A Look at Lawyers' Campaign Contributions"

NYU Law Review note by Drew T. Johnson-Skinner (Legal Workshop), excerpt:

..."Paying-to-play" describes the practice of lawyers giving campaign contributions to public pension funds' political leadership in order to gain favorable consideration by the funds for appointment as class counsel. Many reforms have been proposed and enacted in response to paying-to-play fears. Aside from a few anecdotal reports, however, no examination of campaign contributions from plaintiffs' lawyers to elected officials exists in the legal literature. This Editorial returns to the first stage of analyzing paying-to-play that many commentators have skipped: whether law firms are contributing to investment funds' leadership at all. If law firms are not contributing, there can be no rational fear of paying-to-play. My study finds that law firms do indeed contribute to the investment funds that select them as lead counsel.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.