MARKET MANIPULATION OR JUST DUMB MONEY? The GameStop Stock Spike and What Happens Next

A Note by Samuel Barder

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On December 9, 2019, GameStop Corp. revealed a troubling third quarter earnings report.[1] Net sales had dropped 30% compared to the same time in 2019, and the company was operating at a $63 million loss for the quarter.[2] The next day GameStop shares (“GME”) tumbled by 20% to close at $13.66 per share.[3] On January 27, 2021, the stock closed at $347.51 per share, a 1,735% increase from since the beginning of the year.[4] Two days before GME peaked at $483.00 per share during morning trading.[5] How did this happen?

The rapid rise in GME shares pitted pros against joes as institutional players, hedge funds, and investment professionals lined up on one side and retail investors, online traders and small brokerages, on the other.[6] One prominent investor said the retail investors, often labeled “dumb money” … Read the rest

DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $200: Exploring the NCAA’s Monopoly on Athlete Compensation Behind the ‘Pay the Players’ Debate

A Note by SY Yaw

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On February 2, 2021, EA Sports made an announcement that excited college sports fans everywhere––the NCAA football game that many had grown to love before its discontinuation in 2014 would be returning in 2023.[1] Along with this excitement came a reignited debate about whether student-athletes should be paid for the use of their name, image, and likeness (“NIL”); an issue that contributed to the game’s discontinuation.[2] Despite the profit made by the video game franchise, the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (“NCAA”) longstanding prohibition on student-athletes receiving any compensation beyond their athletic scholarships precluded featured players from receiving compensation.

This Note will explore the intricacies of the debate about whether college athletes should be compensated for their services, primarily using revenue generating sports as a point of examination. Part II will introduce the backdrop of the debate, discussing the “players” … Read the rest

REPLACING WHAT WORKS WITH WHAT SOUNDS GOOD: The Elusive Search for Workable Section 230 Reform

A Note by Kyler Baier

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Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 was a tiny and overlooked fragment of a behemoth bill Congress passed to crack down on the pervasiveness of obscene and indecent communications online.[1] Yet, in the quarter-century since it was passed Section 230 has proven to be the only lasting piece of the Communications Decency Act and, indeed, the most important piece of legislation ever passed with respect to the internet.[2]

By emancipating interactive service providers (ISPs) from the whip hand of publisher’s liability, Section 230 became the liberating force that jolted the massive and sustained growth of the internet marketplace and the free and robust exchange of ideas online.[3] Since Section 230’s conception at law, critics of the legislation have been chipping away at its free market and free speech protections as slowly and surely as water … Read the rest

PROPOSITION 22 AND WORKERS’ RIGHT TO CHOOSE: Learning from California’s Efforts to Classify Independent Contractors

A Note by Kaelin Sanders

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In the 2020 general election, California voters approved Proposition 22, a statewide ballot initiative that classifies app-based drivers (Uber or Lyft drivers, for example) as independent contractors rather than as employees.[1] The culmination of over $200 million in political spending––largely by ride-share companies Uber, Lyft, Postmates, Doordash, and Instacart––the initiative was approved by 58% of voters.[2] Since its passage, the initiative has been met with regular criticism.[3] Many observers first say that classifying app-based drivers (“drivers”) as independent contractors was fundamentally wrong from a worker’s rights perspective, especially in light of state court decisions and legislation that preceded the initiative and established a new standard for making this very decision.[4] Further, there are reports that businesses are now firing their employee-status delivery drivers and hiring cheaper app-based drivers in their stead; that drivers are earning considerably less … Read the rest

RAGE AGAINST THE VOTING MACHINE: Dominion’s Defamation Lawsuit Against Sidney Powell

An Article by Dr. Michael Conklin

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On January 8, 2021, Dominion Voting Systems, Inc., filed a defamation lawsuit against Sidney Powell.[1] The 124-page complaint—drafted by the law firm of noted libel attorney Tom Clare—is based on Powell’s claims that Dominion rigged the 2020 presidential election.[2] This Article examines the relevant issues of false statement of fact, damages, causation, and actual malice. Additionally, a unique privilege that may be available to Powell is considered.

[1].               Complaint, US Dominion, Inc. v. Powell, No. 1:21-cv-00040 (D.D.C. Jan. 8, 2021).

[2].               Id.

 … Read the rest