Academic journal article Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law

THE FOURTEENTH ANNUAL A.A. SOMMER, JR. LECTURE ON CORPORATE, SECURITIES & FINANCIAL LAW AT THE FORDHAM CORPORATE LAW CENTER[dagger]

Academic journal article Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law

THE FOURTEENTH ANNUAL A.A. SOMMER, JR. LECTURE ON CORPORATE, SECURITIES & FINANCIAL LAW AT THE FORDHAM CORPORATE LAW CENTER[dagger]

Article excerpt

THE IMPORTANCE OF INDEPENDENCE

Welcome and Introductory Remarks

DEAN MARTIN: Good evening. I'm Mike Martin. I am the Dean of Fordham Law School. It's a privilege to welcome all of you this evening, both here in the McNally Amphitheater and in our overflow facilities through simulcast. This is the Fourteenth Annual A.A. Sommer Jr. Lecture and we are privileged this evening to have the current Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mary Jo White, here tonight to discuss "The Importance of Independence." In a few minutes, Ben Indek, partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius will introduce Chair White, but first I have the privilege of welcoming all of you to Fordham Law School.

The Sommer Lecture is co-sponsored by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and the Fordham Corporate Law Center. It honors the legacy of A1 Sommer, former SEC Commissioner and Securities Law practitioner. Mr. Sommer was a guiding light on the Commission, an outstanding lawyer, and a mentor to many scholars and practitioners of securities law. His work creating and supervising an advisory committee on corporate disclosure, which resulted in Regulation S-K, earned him a reputation as a leading advocate for transparency. At the 2007 Sommer Lecture, our speaker SEC Commissioner Paul Atkins remarked that this lecture has become a prominent forum in the ongoing dialogue among securities regulators, practitioners, and the securities regulated community.

Consistent with that reputation, Chair White will be addressing issues at the forefront of the current debates within the securities community. Just recently, The Washington Post spotlighted three officials who are ushering in a new era of greater accountability on Wall Street and we are proud to say each of them has spoken recently here at Fordham. First is the current U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, who delivered the law school's graduation address last Spring. The second is the esteemed judge who not only gave the Eleventh DeStefano Lecture here, but is also in the audience tonight, the Honorable Jed Rakoff. And the third is our speaker tonight, the recently appointed SEC Chair, Mary Jo White, who, in her commitment to obtaining public accountability, embodies the ideals that we celebrate with the Sommer Lecture. It is truly an honor for the law school to have hosted these public officials and we are very pleased that Mary Jo White can be here with us tonight.

The annual Sommer Lecture is the Corporate Law Center's longest running tradition and we are grateful for the generous support of the Morgan, Lewis & Bockius firm. The Corporate Law Center brings scholars, professionals, policymakers, and students together for discussion and study of business and financial law. It was designed in 2001 as a think-tank to explore timely business and finance topics, and to showcase groundbreaking scholarship. The Center integrates trends and scholarly literature with real world events and topics that bridge the gap between academics and practitioners. Our programs and our business law faculty address complex questions that affect today's economic, political, and legal issues that impact the global financial markets. The Center also serves as a resource for our students, connecting them to our distinguished alumni through the Business Law Practitioners Series and various mentoring programs.

BEN A. INDEK: On behalf of Morgan Lewis, I welcome you to the Fourteenth Annual A.A. Sommer, Jr. Lecture. More than thirty years ago, A1 Sommer started Morgan Lewis' securities law practice. And as a way to honor his role, we created this lecture series in his name. AI was a Morgan Lewis partner from 1979 until 1994 when he became counsel to our firm. He was an outstanding public servant. Al was an SEC Commissioner from 1973 to 1976. He also served as Chairman of the Public Oversight Board and as a public member of the AICPA. In private practice, Al was a trusted boardroom lawyer, a prolific author, and an expert commentator on a wide range of securities law topics. …

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