Untouchables Group Completes West Coast Tour
Attorney Carl Mayer
“Will Corporations End American Democracy In Our Lifetimes?”
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Seattle University School of Law
Sullivan Hall, Room C1
The Center on Corporations, Law and Society welcomes east-coast attorney Carl Mayer for a talk on the role law plays in giving corporations power over the lives of citizens while offering various strategies for restoring a citizen-driven democracy. Mr. Mayer, former special counsel to New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, is known for his scholarly work on corporations’ use of civil rights, his undercover work in a corporate fraud investigation that resulted in jail terms for several corporate lobbyists and politicians, and writing an amicus brief in the famous Nike v. Kasky case challenging Nike’s use of the First Amendment to deceive consumers about their use of sweat-shop labor.
Mr. Mayer is a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University and holds a J.D. degree from the University of Chicago Law School and an L.L.M. degree from Harvard Law School. He clerked for United States District Court Judge Caleb M. Wright and is a former professor at Hofstra Law School. Mr. Mayer currently runs the Mayer Law Group, where among his many clients is a class of descendants of African-American slaves in a lawsuit before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The action seeks reparations from banks that took slaves as collateral for loans, using theories that won reparations from companies that abbetted the Nazi regime.
Mr. Mayer is a prolific writer and legal activist on issues relating corporate accountability, corporate influence in politics, and the application of constitutional rights to corporations. He is the author of and/or contributor to several books including Shakedown; Public Domain, Private Dominion; Lawyers' Desk Book on White Collar Crime; Collateral Consequences of Convictions of Organizations; and The United States Constitution. Mr. Mayer also wrote an amicus brief in the famous Nike v. Kasky case in the United States Supreme Court challenging Nike’s use of the First Amendment as a shield to continue deceiving consumers about sweat-shop labor in violation of consumer protection statutes. Among his many law review and popular articles is the oft-cited Personalizing the Impersonal: Corporations and the Bill of Rights (41 Hastings Law Journal 577).
Described by the New York Times as “a populist crusader… and maverick lawyer,” one of Mr. Mayer’s most significant impacts was when he was profiled by Mike Wallace and Morley Safer on the CBS News Program "Sixty Minutes". Mayer—then an elected Independent town councilman in Princeton, New Jersey—went undercover and wore a wire to expose corruption in New Jersey politics. On that program, the CEO of United Gunite Inc. (a construction company) was caught offering a cash bribe to a "Sixty Minutes" cameraman to stop his filming: a first in "Sixty Minutes" history. The same CEO was subsequently indicted by the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey and cooperated in indicting corporate lobbyists and the mayors of several New Jersey cities, including Paterson and Irvington. The fallout continues as over seventy-five elected officials and corporate lobbyists have been sent to jail for bribery, extortion and other corruption charges.
Please join us for what promises to be a timely and engaging lecture on the role of law in navigating the relationship between corporations and the public interest.
The Center on Corporations, Law & Society at Seattle University School of Law was established in 2003 to foster interdisciplinary scholarship and dialogue about the extent to which corporate institutions in our society operate in a manner that maximizes their positive contributions while simultaneously protecting the interests of consumers, shareholders, employees, the environment and other fundamental public interest values. In addition to serving as a platform for enhanced scholarly inquiry, the Center provides a forum for sustained discussion among academics, legal practitioners, business leaders, activists, policy makers and community members on the complex and important relationship between business enterprises and their many stakeholders.
Seattle University School of Law educates lawyers who distinguish themselves through their outstanding legal skills and their dedication to law in the service of justice.