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Public Lectures

A.A. Sommer, Jr. Lecture on Corporate, Securities, and Financial Law

The A.A. Sommer, Jr. Lecture on Corporate, Securities and Financial Law was established in 2000 by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in tribute to their distinguished partner who dedicated over three decades of service to the legal profession and to public service.  Al Sommer was an expert in a broad range of securities law topics and was influential in creating important regulatory innovations in the securities markets in addition to those in the accounting profession. Mr. Sommer, a prolific writer and Adjunct Professor of Securities Law at the University of Michigan Law School, was also chair or a member of virtually every significant organization in corporate and securities laws. Mr. Sommer served as a Commissioner with the SEC (1973-1976) and Chair of the Public Oversight Board of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (1986-99), before starting the Morgan, Lewis & Bockius securities law practice in 1979. He was a partner there until 1994 and then became Of Counsel.

Through this lecture series, the world’s leading regulators share with the Law School and the business community their insights into the critical problems confronting the global financial markets. Past speakers have included leaders from the country's most important regulatory agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Association of Securities Dealers, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, and the U.K. Financial Services Authority.

Beginning in 2004 with the Fourth Annual A. A. Sommer, Jr. Lecture and in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the SEC Historical Society ( joined the Corporate Law Center in honoring Commissioner Sommer.

Benjamin M. Lawsky
Superintendent, The New York State Department of Financial Services

 April 18, 2013

Troy A. Paredes
Commissioner, Securities and Exchange Commission

 October 27, 2011

Peter J. Wallison
Member, Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission

 October 28, 2010
Elisse B. Walter
Commissioner, Securities and Exchange Commission
 October 28, 2009
Linda Chatman Thomsen
Director, Division of Enforcement, Securities and Exchange Commission
 November 6, 2008

Paul S. Atkins
Commissioner, Securities and Exchange Commission

 October 9, 2007

Margaret Cole
Director of Enforcement, Financial Services Authority (U.K.)

 October 17, 2006
Edward F. Greene
General Counsel, Global Corporate & Investment Banking Group, Citigroup
 November 17, 2005
Richard G. Ketchum
Chief Regulatory Officer, New York Stock Exchange
 November 9, 2004

William J. McDonough
Chair, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board

 November 11, 2003

Harvey Goldschmid
Commissioner, Securities and Exchange Commission

 December 2, 2002

Mary L. Schapiro
President, NASD Regulation, Inc. 

 November 13, 2001

Arthur Levitt, Jr.
Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission

 November 3, 2000

Albert A. DeStefano Lecture

Becker Ross, LLP (formerly known as Becker, Ross, Stone, DeStefano & Klein) established the Albert A. DeStefano Lecture Series in 2001 to honor the distinguished law career of one of the firm’s principal partners. Mr. DeStefano, a 1947 cum laude graduate of Fordham Law School, specialized in corporate matters, especially mergers and acquisitions.  From 1973 – 1983, he shared his expertise with Fordham Law students as an Adjunct Professor, teaching corporate acquisitions.  Mr. DeStefano dedicated his life to the service of others and was a devoted trustee to numerous charitable organizations including Helen Keller Services for the Blind and Cleary School for the Deaf.

The annual DeStefano Lecture brings policymakers, members of the judiciary and distinguished attorneys to Fordham Law to share their insights of important developments in business and business law. Previous speakers include former Rep. Michael G. Oxley (R-OH), the Honorable Jed S. Rakoff, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York and former Chief Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, Stuart M. Bernstein ’75. Additional previous programs included expert panel discussions on such topics as: “The Subprime Mortgage Meltdown and the Global Financial Crisis” (2008), “Crisis in Confidence: Self Regulation in the Securities Industry” (2004), and “Enron: What Went Wrong?” (2002).

Revlon is a Standard of Review: Why It's True and What It Means                                                                                                                                                                                 March 6, 2013
Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster
Delaware Court of Chancery

Hiding Behind the Corporate Veil
James B. Stewart
Pulitzer Prize-winner, Bloomberg Professor of Business and Economic Journalism,
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism;
Columnist, Business Day Section, New York Times; Staff Writer, The New Yorker

 March 21, 2012

Are Federal Judges Competent? Dilettantes in an Age of Economic Expertise
The Honorable Jed S. Rakoff
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

 April 11, 2011
Corporate Accountability: Governance and Compensation Issues
Panel Discussion
 March 8, 2010

Is Chapter 11 Dead?
The Honorable Stuart M. Bernstein
Chief Judge, Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York

 March 31, 2009

The Subprime Mortgage Meltdown and the Global Financial Crisis
Panel Discussion

 April 15, 2008
New Challenges in the Boardroom
Panel Discussion
 March 27, 2007
Michael G. Oxley
Congressman (R-Ohio)
 September 25, 2006

Eliot Spitzer
Attorney General, New York State

 April 11, 2005

Crisis in Confidence: Self-Regulation in the Securities Industry
Panel Discussion

 April 26, 2004
Celebrating Thirty Years of Market Regulation
Panel Discusion
 April 2, 2003

Enron: What Went Wrong?
Panel Discussion

 April 16, 2002
The SEC's Regulation of Fair Disclosure
Panel Discussion
 February 12, 2001