May 10, 2013
Me on JOBS General Advertising in Vanderbilt Law Review En Banc
Posted by Usha Rodrigues

Just out today, here's a link to one of my projects for my semester "off": Vanderbilt Law Review asked me to contribute to an online symposium offering advice for the SEC in its JOBS Act rulemaking.  There's no abstract, but here's my opener:

Watch enough late night television and you’ll see advertisements for weight-loss elixirs, hair restoratives, and cures for ailments you never dreamed existed. Imagine, if you will, yet another huckster, this one touting PrivateDeal, a “never-before-available investment opportunity, the chance of a lifetime! Get in on the ground floor of a start-up boasting triple-digit growth!” The PrivateDeal hawker goes on to declare: “This investment was previously only available to the ultrarich, but now, thanks to recent developments in the law, it can be yours!”

Jim, an intrigued investor, calls the 800 number on the bottom of his screen, expecting to encounter an operator ready to take his credit card information. Instead, he gets an agent who starts peppering him with questions about his income and net worth. Gradually it dawns on Jim that he may not be able to invest in PrivateDeal after all. Indeed, five minutes into the conversation, the agent confirms that he is not qualified to invest.

“But. . .why. . .” Jim begins to splutter.

“Sir,” the agent explains patiently—Jim senses she has started this speech many times already tonight—“The fine print in the ad specifies that only accredited investors are eligible to buy shares in PrivateDeal.”

To which Jim responds: “Well, what’s an accredited investor?” 

Welcome to post-JOBS Act private investing.

As you can tell, I had fun with the piece--my opening might (or might not) have been the product of bad late night television that I may (or may not) have been watching while up feeding my small one.  I reveled in the freedom of the hybrid blogpost/essay form.  I've done a few of these short online pieces for law reviews (here on SPACs for the Harvard Business Law Review), here for the Texas Law Review to respond to a Brian Galle article, and I've found each to be quite satisfying. I welcome the opportunity to produce timely, easy-to-digest morsels of scholarship.  

Let me know what you think of the piece, and head over to Vanderbilt Law Review's website to check out offerings from my friends Andrew Schwartz of Colorado Law and Doug Ellenoff, a practitioner whom I met in the course of my SPAC research.  


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