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Queens Annual Business Law Symposium Securities Regulation: Issues and Perspectives, Carswell, p. 264, 1995


The theme of Beck's paper is that there is a need to re-examine the issue of the accountability of professionals, particularly lawyers, who act for clients in securities-related transactions. The role of law and lawyers in securities regulation has in the past been considered from the standpoint of the influence of legal professionals and legal ideas (such as those of fairness and equity) on the content of regulation and the practices of regulators.1 Beck's paper, however, considers the position of lawyers, not as the creators and shapers of regulation, but as objects of it.

As I read the paper, it deals with at least three aspects of the issue of lawyers' accountability: (1) the rationale for enhanced accountability of lawyers (the "why" question); (2) the appropriate parameters of such responsibility (the "for what" question); and (3) the mechanisms for accomplishing it (the "how" question). To a non-specialist in this field, the paper is a comprehensive and provocative presentation of the relevant issues. My own sense is that the most contentious aspect of it is likely to be the proposition itself, as opposed to its implementation, so it is in this area that I will concentrate my remarks.


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