Wednesday, April 2, 2014

And the Survey Says . . .

The dumbest personal finance decision people make is  . . . getting into debt. See, CNN, Money. Many won't admit to any mistakes at all, but as the chart below indicates, there are plenty of us that do own up to personal finance mistakes.
 
The Survey also covers other great points, like living within your means as a success strategy, but the most surprising point to me is that people feel rich if they have $500,000 (I would expect that to be higher).  Happily, the survey indicates that we've passed the point where people are overly worried about their homes declining in value for the most part.  This is probably a change from a couple of years ago.
 
The biggest obstacle to financial security: income (31%).  I'm not sure that I agree with that, given some of the other survey results.  If you follow the other pages, it would seem that not getting into debt and living within one's means might be key players here, so long as the income is not too meager.  But, once there is debt and lifestyle challenges, a low income can become that obstacle.
 
CNN ran a survey back in 2011 that found that half of Americans did not have $2000 in emergency savings.  This new survey concludes that almost two-thirds could handle a $1000 emergency, but only 42% could handle a $10,000 emergency.  It seems we still have a way to go as Americans when it comes to saving.
 
- JSM

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What About Amending UCC Article 2?

What?  Amend UCC Article 2?  You might think I am joking, as it is April Fool's Day.  But, indeed, I am not.  We've successfully amended UCC Article 9 a number of times in recent time.  Why not UCC Article 2?  Yes, the last attempt at this feat lasted a long time and ultimately failed.  There are many reasons why the Article 2 Amendments failed, though.  See Symposium on Revised Article 1 and Proposed Revised Article 2, 54 Southern Methodist Law Review 469 (2001).  The fact remains that Article 2 is still cumbersome, disorganized and plain out difficult to follow.    Might a smaller revision of the type used with Article 9 have success in an Article 2 revision?

As Professor Neil Cohen, Brooklyn Law, commented at the International Conference on Contracts KCON9, a code should be written in a comprehensive, systematic, and preemptive manner.  Professor Cohen observed that Professor Linda Rusch's work on revising the remedies portion of Article 2 accomplished the goals of a good code and had much to commend them. Professor Larry Garvin (Ohio State) concurred with much of what was said, particularly with the clarity, simplicity and power of the language of the draft remedies provisions.  Here's the video from the Plenary Session at KCON9.



So, despite this being April 1, perhaps sometime in the future when we all are sufficiently recovered from the trauma of having a failed Article 2 revision in the first place, we might consider moving toward a modest revision centered on some of the work that held a greater consensus.  Remedies anyone?

- JSM

Video from International Conference on Contracts KCON9 Available



I am pleased to report that all of the video from KCON9 held at St. Thomas University School of Law February 2014 is now available at youtube (Click here to access the Channel).  Some of the highlights of the program included:

      • The Works of Linda J. Rusch
      • Contracts and Commercial Dealings
      • Contracts and Technology
      • Wrap Contracts by Nancy Kim
      • Contract Law and Social Justice: An Oxymoron?
      • Behavior, Bargaining, Incentives and Contract
      • Contract and Its Relationship to Other Doctrines
      • International Issues in Contracting
If you missed the Conference, next year is at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  Professor Keith Rowley is the Chair.
 
-JSM

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Skeptical about Bitcoin: No Old White Man Here

Warren Buffet advised investors to stay away from Bitcoin, dubbing it a "mirage."




Yet, he took some hits from capitalist Marc Andreeseen for being an "old white m[a]n crapping on new technology [he doesn't] understand."   See Bitcoin: Both Buffet and Andreeseen are Right

But, about three years ago, I said much the same thing, commenting there are "no quick fixes or easy roads to avoid market volatility and economic instability."  See, What is a Bitcoin? Where Did My Bitcoin Go?  I see Bitcoin much in the way that Buffett does, basically it is a way to transmit money.  It is not a currency of the sort that we expect to be backed by government.  The IRS has come out explicitly and classified the Bitcoin as not a currency, but property.  See IRS: Virtual Currency Guidance

If investors expect to make money investing in Bitcoin, there would be costs on the users of the system, much in the way that the credit and debit card system works.  But, I have more confidence that losses arising under the debit and credit card system are not ordinarily borne by the consumer.  Moreover, those investing in the Bitcoin system expecting their investment to rise would be wise to remember that any investment is speculation.  It is reminiscent to me of Gordon Gecko's reminder in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps:

Back in the 1600s, the Dutch, they got speculation fever to the point that you could buy a beautiful house on a canal in Amsterdam for the price of one bulb. They called it 'Tulip Mania.' Then it collapsed. You could buy 10 bulbs for two dollars. People got wiped out, but who remembers?


But, I seem to recall a whole lot of people recently losing money on Bitcoin.  See, Bitcoin's Mt. Gox Goes Offline.  Perhaps my memory is starting to fade with old age.

- JSM    

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Determining Predominate Purpose in Multiple Transaction Dealings

Its the time of the year for the ABA's Sales Survey that will come out by August.  Each year, there are noteworthy cases involving the scope of Article 2.  Deciding whether Article 2 of the U.C.C. applies, of course, rests on whether the transaction involves a sale of goods under 2-105.  In many cases this determination is pretty straightforward, but is complicated when there the transaction is one with mixed goods and services.  In such cases, most courts employ the predominate purpose test to see whether the goods or services aspect of the transaction eclipses the other.  See, Predominate Purpose Test Still Predominates.  This inquiry is more complicated, though, when the dealings of the parties involves multiple transactions.

Such was the case in Whitecap Investment Corp. v. Putnam Lumber & Export Company,  where the District Court for the Virgin Islands considered whether certain transactions involving lumber were sales of goods.   Great Southern Wood Preserving, Inc. (“GSWP”) and Putnam Lumber & Export Company (“Putnam”) contracted for the treatment of lumber by GSWP, which Putnam would resell to others, including Whitecap Investment Corp. (“Whitecap”).   As there was no overriding contract, GSWP and Putnam would enter into each transaction independently, with GSWP providing treatment services only in nearly all cases.  Putnam would purchase wood and provide it to GSWP for treatment in accord with the customer’s specifications.  In some transactions, GSWP would also sell to Putnam its own lumber, treated according to industry specifications.   Following a dispute over the premature decay of the lumber, Whitecap filed suit against Putnam for breach of contract and breach of warranty, and Putnam filed a cross–claim against GSWP for indemnity and contribution.   On GSWP’s motion for summary judgment, it argued that it was entitled to summary judgment on any breach of warranty claim that arose under Article 2 because GSWP claimed it sold no goods to Putnam.   The court denied the motion, holding that since the parties did not have one overriding agreement, the court would need to examine each transaction separately to determine if the sale of goods predominated.    As some of the contracts did involve the sale of lumber governed by Article 2, summary judgment was improper.

The lesson of this case is that the structuring of the parties overall arrangement can make a difference in coverage by Article 2 in mixed goods/sales transactions.  Surely, those transactions that involved only sales of treated lumber would be sales of goods for purposes of Article 2.  It would seem on the facts at summary judgment that the other transactions that involved lumber treatment only would not be transactions in goods under Article 2.  Viewing the transactions independently is more time consuming from a fact perspective and may lead to a different outcome on than if the parties had one overriding contract under which there were isolated sales, but predominantly treatment services contemplated and delivered by the provider. 

- JSM

Monday, March 24, 2014

CFPB takes on Predatory Student Loan Practices

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) recently filed a lawsuit against ITT Educational Services (“ITT”) for predatory student loan practices. See CFPB Press Release.  The CFPB complaint makes a number of allegations against ITT under the Truth in Lending Act ("TILA"), including:
  1. pressuring students into high interest loans without affording them the opportunity to understand their loan obligations;
  2. offering credits that are non-transferable to community or non-profit colleges;
  3. misleading students into thinking that they would be securing gainful employment after graduation in order to payoff their private loans; and
  4. knowing that a majority of the students would default on their private loans.
Apparently, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") is also looking into the practices of ITT and some of the state attorney generals are also investigating its practices.  See, WSJ Online

Investigation into ITT is hopefully just the beginning into the lending practices involving students.  It is not unusual that students have very high student loan balances that take a long time to pay or they struggle with at times.  This is especially true for graduates who are unemployed or underemployed.  See, American Student Assistance, Student Loan Debt Statistics. Yet, the protections afforded to borrowers under the Credit Card Responsibility and Disclosure Act ("CARD Act") in terms of account statement disclosures and loan transparency were not extended to student borrowers.  This is true in the face of complaints from consumers about receiving account statements and documentation upon request.  Moreover, students do not get regular billing statements while they are in school since they are not in repayment.  The same strong tabular disclosure that is the gold standard in other areas surely should apply in the student arena.  Plenty of fodder for the CFPB to tackle.

- JSM (with Ray Alvarez)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Auto-Bill Pay Can Pay Your Bills Even After You are Dead

In a news story that looks like it should be reported in a law school casebook, a Detroit woman died in her home, yet her bank continued to pay the automatic payments from her account until the money ran out. Then came a foreclosure on her home.  All of this occurred over a period of about six years. 

A few points worthy of discussion beyond the obvious problem that her family and friends were not able to discover her death. First, is that the perpetual nature of recurring payments may result in payments to creditors proceeding even after death. In terms of the basic assent and authorization of the payments from the account under U.C.C. 4-401, it would seem to be a valid question whether she continued to "authorize" these payments under the properly payable rule after death.  Second, a contractor discovered the death after authorities foreclosed on the house due to non-payment of taxes.  One of the lingering issues with foreclosures is the access to the property available to buyers, contractors and even governmental agents.  One might wonder how the foreclosure possibly proceeded without any response from her or suspicion as to the reality of her demise.


ABC US News | ABC Business News

-JSM

International Conference on Contracts Proceedings

Video from the proceedings the of the International Conference on Contracts are now available in case you miss the conference this year. One of the more interesting presentations was the planetary session where Kingsley Martin of KM Standards spoke about how technology will change the way that lawyers practice as it allows for the emergence of contracts standards in a variety of key agreements that attorneys use. Kingsley used the analogy of physicians using MRI machine to show how the work of attorneys will also be aided through technological developments. I agree with him that technological advances in the law are going to continue to impact the practice. Not only does this have the possibility of making agreements better for clients, but should also increase the availability of legal services in the contract area to a greater number of clients. I will be looking forward to seeing how his product ultimately changes the way my students will draft a variety of contracts for clients.



-JSM

Saturday, January 4, 2014

International Conference on Contracts February 21-22, 2014 Registration and Hotel Information


I am quite pleased to have widespread participation for the upcoming conference on contracts to be held at St. Thomas University in Miami Lakes, Florida. Registration is open on the conference website at www.contractsconference.com. All conference participants, speakers and moderators are required to register for the conference to help defer the costs of meals, shuttles and the like.

Please be aware that the group rate for the hotels must be reserved by January 14, 2014. Hotels in South Florida in February can be pricey, but the conference rate is quite good, so you’ll want to make sure that you reserve early. The conference hotels are Shula's Hotel and Golf Club and the Newport Beachside Resort. There is also a deal for rental cars through enterprise if you are interested. Information on hotel reservation is available on the conference website under the hotels tab. While the conference shuttle is running from Shula’s to the law school, I will look into running a second shuttle to the Newport Beachside resort if there were a substantial number of conference participants staying there. The Newport is a little further from the law school, but as the name connotes, is on the beach.

I look forward to seeing you all in February and will be sending additional information about panels and scheduling out in the near future. If you are not presenting and just want a good conference to attend, the contracts conference has much to offer in terms of topics that will be discussed. I will be posting the program to the list in the near future to give any of you who are on the fence about attending even more incentive.
 
- JSM
 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Final Calls for International Conference on Contracts at St. Thomas University in Miami Lakes, Florida February 20-21, 2014


I just wanted to encourage those who are considering proposals for presentation at  the 9th International Conference on Contracts to be held at St. Thomas University in Miami February 21-22, 2014 to send them on to me right away as nearly all panels are full at this point.  If you're interested in being a moderator, just send me an email. Of course if you would just like to come and attend, there will be plenty of good presentations to be had.  The Call for Papers, as well as travel and registration information, is available at the Conference website is at http://www.contractsconference.com/kcon/KCON9__Miami.html.  Our Law Review is doing a Symposium around the Conference and still has a few spots for papers that it will consider for publication no later than January 15, 2012.  Please let me know if you're interested in the symposium issue and I will put you in contact with the symposium editors.   One of our participants, Michael Pinsof, is trying to get a group of people together to see the show the Assassins, which is playing at the Arsht center here in Miami.  Michael Pinsof can be reached at mpinsof@sbcglobal.net if you would be interested in this event.

This is going to be a really wonderful conference this year all-conference honoree is Linda Rusch. Prof. Robin West (Georgetown) will be giving the planetary speech on Saturday and Kingsley Martin (KM standards) will be giving the talk at Friday's luncheon. 

Confirmed Participants include:

Kristen            Adams - Stetson University

Bader  Almaskari - University of Leicester, England

Rachel Arnow-Richman- University of Denver

Reza    Baheshti - University of Leicester, England

Wayne Barnes - Texas A&M University

Daniel  Barnhizer - Michigan State University

Thomas  Barton  - California Western School of Law

Shawn  Bayern - Florida State University

Christopher  Bisping - University of Warwick

Allen   Blair   

Amy    Boss -  Drexel University

Steve   Callandryllo - University of Washington

Miriam Cherry - University of Missouri

Kenneth Ching - Regent University

Neil Cohen      - Brooklyn Law

Nicolas Cornell - University of Pennsylvania - Wharton

Gerrit   De Geest - Washington University School of Law

Sidney Delong            - Seattle University

Scott    Devito - Florida Coastal School of Law

Xingyan Ding - University of Sydney

Timothy Dodsworth - University of Warwick

Pamela Edwards - CUNY School of Law

Zev Eigen        - Northwestern University School of Law

Seyed Reza Ektekhari - Islamic Azad University - Gonabad Branch

Jamie   Fox - Stetson University

Caio     Gabra  - Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

Larry   Garvin - Ohio State University

Peter    Gerhart - Case Western

Katie   Gianasi - Husch Blackwell L.L.P.

Jim       Gibson - University of Richmond

Suren   Gomtsyan        - Tilburg Law School - Netherlands

Jack     Graves -  Touro Law Center

Ariela  Gross - USC Gould

Danielle Hart -Southwestern Law School

Max     Helveston - DePaul University

Catherine         Imoedemhe - University of Leicester, England

Lyn      K.L. Tjon Soel Len - University of Amsterdam

Hila     Keren  - Southwestern Law School

Nancy  Kim -   Cal Western University

Charles Knapp            - UC Hastings College of Law

Christiina Kunz - William Mitchell College of Law

Lenora  Ledwon - St. Thomas University

Peter    Linzer  - University of Houston

Joasia   Luzak  - University of Amsterdam

Colin   Marks  - St. Mary's University

Kingsley Martin - KM Standards

Jennifer Martin - St. Thomas University

John     Mayer  - CALI

Meredith Miller - Touro Law Center

Juliet    Moringiello      - Widener University Scool of Law

Murat  Mungan - Florida State University

John     Murray - Duquense University

Masaki Nakabayashi - University of Tokyo

Marcia Narine - St. Thomas University

Wendy            Netter Epstein - DePaul University

Karl     Okamoto - Drexel University

Joe       Perillo  - Fordham University

Amir    Pichhadze - University of Michigan (SJD Student)

Michael Pinsof - Attorney

Lucille Ponte   - Florida A&M University, College of Law,

Deborah Post - Touro Law Center

Michael Pratt -            Queens University

Cheryl  Preston - Brigham Young University

Val Ricks - South Texas College of Law

Roni    Rosenberg - Carmel Academic Center, Law School, Israel

Linda   Rusch  - Gonzaga University

Amy    Schmitz - University of Colorado

Mark    Seidenfeld - Florida State University

Gregory           Shill -   University of Denver

Frank   Snyder - Texas A&M University

Jeremy Telman - Valaparasio University

David  Tollen  - Adili & Tollen, L.L.P.

Manuel  Usted - Florida State University

Robin  West -Georgetown University

Alan    White  - CUNY School of Law

Robert Whitman - University of Connecticut

Pat       Williams - Columbia Law School

Monica            Woodard - St. Thomas University

Eric      Zacks   - Wayne State University

Dustin Zacks   - King, Nieves & Zacks

Deborah          Zalesne - CUNY School of Law

Candace          Zierdt - Stetson University

I look forward to seeing many of you in February.  Please direct any paper proposals or questions to me at JMartin@STU.edu.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Upcoming International Contracts Conference at St. Thomas University School of Law


I just wanted to encourage those who are considering proposals for presentation at  the 9th International Conference on Contracts to be held at St. Thomas University in Miami February 21-22, 2014 to send them on to me in the coming weeks.  The Call for Papers is already out and the Conference website is at http://www.contractsconference.com/kcon/KCON9__Miami.html.  Our Law Review is doing a Symposium around the Conference and still has a few spots for papers that it will consider for publication no later than January 15, 2012.  Please let me know if you're interested in the symposium issue and I will put you in contact with the symposium editors. If you are not interested in presenting, but would like to moderate a panel, please let me know as I am in need of moderators as well.

This is going to be a really wonderful conference this year all-conference honoree is Linda Rusch. Prof. Robin West (Georgetown) will be giving the planetary speech on Saturday and Kingsley Martin (KM standards) will be giving the talk at Friday's luncheon. 

Confirmed Participants include:

Kristen  Adams – Stetson University

Bader Almaskari - University of Leicester, England

Reza  Baheshti - University of Leicester, England

Wayne Barnes   Texas A&M University

Daniel  Barnhizer – Michigan State University

Thomas Barton  – California Western School of Law

Shawn Bayern   Florida State University

Amy Boss – Drexel University

Steve   Callandryllo – University of Washington

Miriam Cherry –  University of Missouri

Kenneth Ching – Regent University

Neil Cohen        Brooklyn Law

Gerrit   De Geest  – Washington University School of Law

Sidney Delong   Seattle University

Scott Devito    Florida Coastal School of Law

Zev Eigen –  Northwestern University School of Law

Larry   Garvin   Ohio State University

 Katie Gianasi   Husch Blackwell L.L.P.

Jim Gibson –  University of Richmond

Ariela  Gross     USC Gould

Nancy  Kim       Cal Western University

Christina Kunz –  William Mitchell College of Law

Lenora  Ledwon – St. Thomas University

Joasia   Luzak    University of Amsterdam

Kingsley Martin    KM Standards

Jennifer Martin –  St. Thomas University

John Mayer       CALI

Murat  Mungan –  Florida State University

Dr. John Murray – Duquense University

Marcia Narine   St. Thomas University

Wendy Netter Epstein – DePaul University

Karl Okamoto – Drexel University

Joe Perillo   Fordham University

Amir    Pichhadze – University of Michigan (SJD Student)

Michael Pinsof - Attorney

Lucille Ponte   – Florida A&M University, College of Law,

Deborah Post –  Touro Law Center

Michael Pratt –  Queens University, Canada

Cheryl Preston    Brigham Young University

Val Ricks    South Texas College of Law

Roni Rosenberg –  Carmel Academic Center, Law School, Israel

Linda Rusch      Gonzaga University

Mark Seidenfeld – Florida State University

Gregory Shill – University of Denver

Frank   Snyder   Texas A&M University

Jeremy Telman –  Valparaiso University

David  Tollen  – Adili & Tollen, L.L.P.

Manuel Usted – Florida State University

Robin  West      Georgetown University

Robert Whitman – University of Connecticut

Eric Zacks – Wayne State University

Deborah Zalesne  – CUNY School of Law

Candace Zierdt    Stetson University

I look forward to seeing many of you in February.  Please direct any paper proposals or questions to me at JMartin@STU.edu.
 
-JSM

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Small Businesses Sometimes Learn Hard Lessons About Check Fraud

Dr. Luis Fabelo, a Miami Dentist, recently found out that he'd lost about $500,000 in a check fraud scheme perpetrated by an employee (now former employee).  The employee, Elizabeth De Leon, allegedly stole patient checks made out to the dentist and then deposited the checks into her own account through Wells Fargo's ATM machines.  The dentist discovered the losses when alerted by a patient whose payment was not posted.  The dentist then checked the security cameras on premises and was able to uncover the wrongdoing.  The employee had deleted account records while at the office or during social functions.  After she left his employ, she did the same fraud at another office.  De Leon is now facing charges for grand theft and fraud.  Wells Fargo refused to return the funds to Dr. Fabelo.

But what about the losses of Dr. Fabelo?  Dr. Leon has brought suit against Wells Fargo claiming it "has no system, policy, and/or procedure in place to verify the depositor/account holder, was entitled to cash the checks."  Sure the theft of the checks appears to raise the issue of a conversion claim under UCC 3-420, but there is more to this.  Under UCC 3-405, where an employee delegates responsibility to an employee and entrusts the employee with indorsing checks, if the employee converts the check for his own use, the bank is generally not liable.  So, the message to employers is take care in hiring those entrusted office employees.  The rule is not absolute, though, it continues on:
If the person paying the instrument or taking it for value or for collection fails to exercise ordinary care in paying or taking the instrument and that failure substantially contributes to loss resulting from the fraud, the person bearing the loss may recover from the person failing to exercise ordinary care to the extent the failure to exercise ordinary care contributed to the loss

Here is the heart of Dr. Fabelo's argument against Wells Fargo, I suspect (unless the employee was not actually an entrusted employee). Does a bank exercise "ordinary care" when it allows ATM deposits of checks deposited into an account other than that of the payee (i.e. third party checks)? Alternatively, does a bank take the loss when it takes these items. This is a far less clear issue than the general rule of employer responsibility. In today's marketplace thieves have the ability to avoid discovery of check fraud through ATM, smart-phone and other remote deposit mechanisms where identity is not verified by banks. I suspect that Wells Fargo is not alone in permitting deposit of third party checks remotely. If banking practice includes this type of remote deposit of third party check, then Dr. Fabelo will have a tough case to make out.
 
The ability of a customers to do remote depositing surely is a convenience benefit, but also carries with it a potentially higher increase in fraud as there is convenience for the thieves as well.  See, Mobile Check Boom Brings Risks.  Many banks put daily and monthly limits on the higher risk deposits, though, as well as placing holds on account funds.  In the case of Dr. Fabelo, the types of security procedures used by Wells Fargo will surely be at issue.  With the rapid changes in banking pushing more customers into remote banking features, banks are well advised to continue to assess risk strategies to reduce the level of fraud in this area.  UCC 3-405 makes clear that banks have a role to play in mitigating the risk of emerging banking practices to put in place the right safeguards. 

As to small business owners, UCC 3-405 makes clear that they should continue to carefully screen employees to ward off this type of theft as well.  Otherwise, the hard lesson of substantial loss may come as a hard one.

-JSM 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Echo of Support for the Lifetime Achievement Award for Linda Rusch


Jeremy Telman over at the Contracts Prof Blog posted over there about the Lifetime Achievement Award that Linda Rusch will receive at the Ninth Annual International Conference on Contracts February 20-21, 2014 to be held at St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida.  I must echo Jeremy's praise of Linda's accomplishments.  Linda is a retired professor of law as of August 2012 and now is getting to enjoy the great outdoors. She was the inaugural holder of the Frederick N. and Barbara T. Curley Professor in Commercial Law at the Gonzaga University School fo Law from 2005-2010. She was also a co-director of the Law School’s Commercial Law Center.  And, of course, Professor Rusch has been involved in the revision of the Uniform Commercial Code in many capacities and is the recent past Chair of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association.  It is great to see her contributions to contract and commercial law recognized!
 
If you are considering presenting at the February Conference, the call for papers is currently OPEN. 
Papers and works-in-progress are welcome from those who study Contracts from any perspective, whether doctrinal, pedagogical, theoretical, empirical, historical, economic, critical, comparative, or interdisciplinary. Works that take an international or civil law approach are also welcome. Junior scholars are particularly encouraged to participate. Those interested in proposing and organizing panels (3-5 presenters) on specific themes are especially encouraged to do so. Individual submissions should be made by a brief abstract (one page is sufficient) of the paper or WIP that includes contact information for the author(s). The deadline is Monday, December 16, 2013 with proposals submitted earlier will be accepted on a rolling basis. Proposals submitted after the deadline will be accepted on a space-available basis. Submissions should be directed to: Professor Jennifer S. Martin (me) at jmartin@ stu.edu.
 
-JSM

Friday, September 20, 2013

Keeping it simple: Financial Advice on an Index Card


I heard about the the 4X6 inch index card financial advice on NPR this week.  This advice comes from University of Chicago Professor Harold Pollack.  My first thought is that he would be a business school prof, but Professor Pollack does social services work.  The simplicy of the program is good, but the last piece of advice is cut off in the picture (and gives away his true calling):

Promote social insurance programs to help people when things go wrong.

This, of course, brings to mind the current debate in Congress over spending and attempts to defund healthcare, food stamps and other programs.  Perhaps the nation's finances would be in better order if Congress consulted Professor Pollack.  Simple advice, yes, but probably sound in basics.  Typically that is enough for ordinary people to keep up with and improve their finances.

-JSM

Thursday, September 12, 2013

KCon 2014 Call for Papers


 

KCON9
The 9th Annual Conference on Contracts
The Call for Papers is OPEN.
For information,
contact Professor Jennifer S. Martin
February 21-22, 2014
CALL FOR PAPERS

 Submissions are cordially invited for the 9th Annual International Conference on Contracts, the largest annual scholarly and educational conference devoted to Contracts and related areas of commercial law. Papers and works-in-progress are welcome from those who study Contracts from any perspective, whether doctrinal, pedagogical, theoretical, empirical, historical, economic, critical, comparative, or interdisciplinary. Works that take an international or civil law approach are also welcome. Junior scholars are particularly encouraged to participate. Those interested in proposing and organizing panels (3-5 presenters) on specific themes are especially encouraged to do so.

Individual submissions should be made by a brief abstract (one page is sufficient) of the paper or WIP that includes contact information for the author(s). Individual submissions will be placed on panels with like submissions. Panel proposals should include the name and contact information of the moderator or organizer, and a summary of the proposed papers or works in progress. There is no publication commitment for the conference, but organizers of individual panels are free to arrange for publication on their own.

Submissions

Deadline is Monday, December 16, 2013.

Proposals submitted earlier will be accepted on a rolling basis. Proposals submitted after the deadline will be accepted on a space-available basis. Submissions should be directed to:

Professor Jennifer S. Martin
jmartin@ stu.edu