ABA LSD Antitrust Liaisons

American Bar Association Law Student Division Liaisons to the Section of Antitrust Law


Practical Privacy II Follow-up

Thanks to Tom Zych and Mike Miller for saving a line for me on the Practical Privacy II teleconference last week. For those of you that missed it, we heard from the Chief Privacy Officers of GE, GM, and JPMorganChase on the practical realities of implementing privacy policies in their organizations. This is especially challenging given the current myriad of regulations in multiple jurisdictions around the world. Combine that with the outsourced or offshored (yes, there is a difference) data handlers and other 3rd parties that might share information and you'll begin to understand why some of these folks have trouble sleeping at night!

I had the chance to ask Tom Zych some follow-up questions for our LSD members who may be interested in the practice areas covered by the newly formed Privacy & Security Committee and here are his responses:

Q: Do you need an IT/Risk Management background or experience with a regulatory authority (AG, FTC, DOJ) to be competitive?

Zych: I certainly hope not, since I do not have that type of background myself. I think the key is to have a genuine interest in your clients' business realities and the willingness to be educated on an ongoing basis.

Q: Are private firms seeking associates with some expertise/interest in this area just as much as in-house Counsel?

Zych: Most definitely, and with the anticipated passage of federal data security legislation next year, the work will only increase.

Q: What would you recommend 2Ls and 3Ls take (or law schools should start offering) to improve their understanding of the issues?

Zych: Elective courses, preferable taught by adjuncts practicing in the field, would provide good course work for those self-selected students wishing to pursue the topic while getting a fresh, "from the trenches" view of the challenges.

Q: Any other suggestions for law students?

Zych: As for advice, I hesitate since it has been many years since my student days. But as one who first studied law when this topic was mostly a gleam in the eye of the future, I would say that maintaining curiosity and having the knowledge that, while what we learn may change over time, the willingness to continue to learn throughout our careers is a key success factor for any practicing lawyer.

As a bonus, the inaugural edition of The Secure Times was released this week. This first issue includes:
(1) an interview with FTC Chairman Deborah Majoras on the FTC's privacy agenda, (2) an article about the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard and how it affects merchants, (3) an article that tells you what you need to know about the Fact Act's Data Disposal Rule; and (4) a summary of privacy and data security developments from the Fall.

To learn more about the AT's Privacy and Security Committee (or to join it), click here.


CNMI seeking Steiger Fellow applicants

For those of you not subscribing to the Saipan Tribune (the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands' "first daily newspaper"), here's an article announcing their AGO's intern opportunity next summer (and you might run across some other interesting news stories while you're there).

Official CNMI OAG Site


Spyware and Privacy BBLs next week

Although many of our LSD members are in the midst of finals, there will be some very interesting programs next week presented by the Privacy & Security, Corporate Counseling, State Antitrust Enforcement, and Computer Industry Committees:

On Tuesday, Dec 13, the SAE & CI Committees present SPYWARE: WHAT IT IS, WHAT ENFORCERS ARE DOING ABOUT IT, AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOUR PRACTICE. Gail Levine, Attorney Advisor to FTC Chair Deborah Platt Majoras, has organized

an impressive array of state and federal enforcement officials discussing the legal and practical issues associated with spyware, following on the heels of six FTC cases against allegedly unlawful spyware distributors and recent actions by the NY and Texas AGs.

Panelists will include:

  • Justin Brookman, Assistant Attorney General, Office of New York Attorney General
  • Kenneth Dreifach, Chief, Internet Bureau, Office of the New York Attorney General
  • Rick Quaresima, Assistant Director for Advertising Practices, Federal Trade Commission
  • Paul Singer, Assistant Attorney General, Consumer Protection and Public Health Division, Office of the Texas Attorney General (invited)

and David Sohn of the Center for Democracy & Technology will moderate.

Details on registration for both onsite attendance at Jones Day's Washington office or via telephone are available here.

On Thursday, Dec 15, the P&S & CC Committees will present "Practical Privacy II," a "from the trenches" discussion on how corporate counsel are dealing with

the practical realities of designing, implementing and maintaining working privacy and information security systems in the face of a thicket of laws, regulations and expectations.
Speakers include:
  • James M. Jordan III, General Electric Co.
  • Lynn A. Goldstein, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
  • Robert Rothman, General Motors Corporation

and moderating:

Registration information is available here.

If you can't make the call, the P&S committee has more info on their activities and future events available here.


I've got (more) company

Welcome David T. Fischer, associate with the Washington D.C. office of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP, to the antitrust blawgosphere. Mr. Fischer recently started blogging at "(Anti)Trust Me" and is also a member of the YLD Antitrust Committee.

Consumer Protection Update

This month's consumer protection update will be presented by counsel from HellerEhrman LLP:

and moderated by Marsha McIntyre of Collier Shannon Scott, member of the Consumer Protection Committee.

Janet D. Steiger Fellowship opportunities for summer 2006:

  • IOWA
    (including up to $5,000 in actual travel expenses)
  • UTAH

This is a great opportunity for 1Ls and 2Ls interested in consumer protection. Don't forget the application deadline is Feb 6, 2006.

Thanks again to the AT for funding even more fellows this year!

Bar/Bri Antitrust case

The New York Times has an article today on the case against BAR/BRI that may be of particular interest to LSD members:

Represented by an aggressive Los Angeles lawyer named Eliot G. Disner, they have filed a lawsuit charging that the company that helped them to become lawyers has operated an illegal monopoly and has overcharged hundreds of thousands of students by an average of $1,000 each - or, collectively, by hundreds of millions of dollars.


Lawyers for BAR/BRI deny that the company violated any provision of the antitrust laws and say they plan to contest the charges vigorously. "We believe the allegations have absolutely no merit," said Steven F. Molo, a partner at Shearman & Sterling who is representing BAR/BRI.

I had the opportunity to ask Eliot Disner a few more questions about the case and here are his responses:

Do you expect the trial to proceed in June as scheduled?
There has been some discussion about a short extension, but none proposed by [the] other side (which wants it), and none approved.

How does this case affect 3Ls who will likely be taking BarBri courses soon for the 2006 exams?
It is possible the class will be extended to 2005, maybe even 1L
signups for 2006. But, again, that's up to [the] judge.

What alternatives do you recommend for those students (including yours truly)?
Alternatives? The key is to take the best course that tests you through the bar. If that happens to be Bar-Bri, because it is the only viable course remaining, so be it. You'll all just have to dance with the devil, I guess.


Comments welcome.