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Bottom Line: Wisconsin Bike Trek Sues Marin Wine Trek

Publication Date: 
March 05, 2010
San Francisco Chronicle
Andrew S. Ross

Professors Michael McConnell, Kathleen Sullivan, and Joseph Grundfest are mentioned in the San Francisco Chronicle for taking part in a panel hosted by Stanford Law School on whether corporations have constitutional rights:

You're one of the largest manufacturers of bicycles and bicycle-related products in the known universe, with 1,200 employees, 1,700 dealers worldwide and hundreds of millions of dollars in sales. You find out that a two-person winery in Marin County has the same first name as your business. So what do you do?

Why, you sue, of course.

That's what the Trek Bicycle Corp. did to Andy and Liz Podshadley, the husband-and-wife owners of Trek Winery, who, the Wisconsin company said, infringed on its God-given right to the name.


Rights for the wrong: Nothing frivolous about the lawsuits being discussed this evening at Stanford University.

Prompted by the U.S. Supreme Court's counter-revolutionary ruling on campaign finance, five prominent legal scholars will be poring over the question, "Do corporations have constitutional rights?" Not only does it relate to the infamous Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission case, but also what could be a rising tide of criminal prosecutions of Great Recession-tainted corporations, and increased government oversight of Wall Street and beyond.

Panelists include former U.S. Appeals Court Judge Michael McConnell, now director of Stanford's Constitutional Law Center, former law school Dean Kathleen Sullivan and former SEC commissioner Joseph Grundfest, whose area of expertise includes capital markets, corporate governance and securities litigation.

The proceedings go from 5.30 p.m. to 8 p.m. (including reception) on the Stanford campus. Registration, contact information at links.sfgate. com/ZJIM.

Easy for you to say: Jamie Dimon's comment that we have more to fear from California's debt than Greece's has certainly been bouncing around since JPMorgan Chase's boss made the comment more than a week ago. Actually, "Greece itself (is) not an issue for this company," he added.

Of course it isn't. JPMorgan has suffered no fallout from a situation it helped create in the birthplace of democracy.