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Author: William A. Jacobson

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William A. Jacobson

William A. Jacobson is a Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Securities Law Clinic at Cornell Law School.

He is a 1981 graduate of Hamilton College and a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School. At Harvard he was Senior Editor of the Harvard International Law Journal and Director of Litigation for the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project.

Prior to joining the Cornell law faculty in 2007, Professor Jacobson had a highly successful civil litigation and arbitration practice in Providence, Rhode Island, concentrating in investment, employment, and business disputes in the securities industry, including many high profile cases reported in leading newspapers and magazines.

Professor Jacobson has argued cases in numerous federal and state courts, including the Courts of Appeal for the First, Fifth and Sixth Circuits, and the Rhode Island Supreme Court.

Professor Jacobson has a national reputation as a leading practitioner in securities arbitration. He was Treasurer, and is a former member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association, a professional organization of attorneys dedicated to protecting public investors. He frequently is quoted in national media on issues related to investment fraud and investor protection, and in the past has served as one of a small number of private practice attorneys who trained new arbitrators for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Professor Jacobson is co-author of the Securities Arbitration Desk Reference (Thomson-Reuters), updated annually.

Professor Jacobson is frequently quoted in the media on political and legal topics, has authored many Op-Eds in major publications, and appears on television and radio to discuss politics and the law.

A more complete listing of Professor Jacobson's professional background is available at the Cornell Law School website. The views expressed here are his own and not those of any employer or organization,

The best way to reach Prof. Jacobson is by e-mail here.

Despite an impassioned last minute closing argument, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was found guilty by the Illinois Senate on the Article of Impeachment. The vote was 59-0 to convict Blagojevich of the single Article of Impeachment for abusing power. Elements of the Article included alleged...

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich just finished his closing argument in the Senate impeachment trial. In an impassioned argument, Blagojevich invoked images of his immigrant parents, the people he tried to help by providing health care benefits, and working families.Blagojevich followed a strategy of saving his...

I didn't expect to end up opposing the impeachment of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. When the news first broke that Blagojevich was charged, among other things, with attempting to "sell" Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat, I was inclined to follow the media and pundits in...

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's last minute request to present a closing argument at the Senate impeachment trial has everyone speculating what he is up to. While there are many good speculative arguments as to what Blagojevich will say, there is one argument that no one...

It has just been announced on the floor of the Illinois Senate, nearing the end of the trial, that Governor Rod Blagojevich wants to appear at the end of the trial to argue his case against impeachment. Blagojevich to date has refused to participate on...

I listened to much of day two of the Illinois Senate impeachment trial of Gov. Rod Blagojevich. This was the day when the smoking gun would be revealed, in the form of four audio tapes just released by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. Despite the claims...

James G. Lindsay, the former General Counsel of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), has issued a detailed 84-page report harshly critical of UNRWA's policies with regard to Palestinian refugees. The report is titled "Fixing UNRWA...

Hamas set off a massive roadside bomb at the Gaza border, killing an Israeli soldier and wounding several on the Israeli side of the border. In return fire, one Palestinian was killed. So how do British papers report the story? Here are the headlines:The Guardian:...

Last October was our first Halloween in Ithaca, New York. Because I couldn't tend to the door, I put a box of candy on the front porch, with a sign that said "Please be honest, take just one."This being Ithaca in the month before the...

On Monday, January 26, 2009, the impeachment trial of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich begins. Nominally, the trial will be held by the Illinois Senate with the Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court presiding. In reality, this case is, and always has been, under the...

Estimating the size of crowds traditionally has been an art, not a science. The art part of crowd-estimating leaves much to the artist's interpretation. Police departments often go with their "gut" feeling based upon experience with prior events, or a helicopter flyover.In the case of...

You know the old saying, "those who can't do, teach." When I was in private law practice, I took that saying as gospel. Now that I teach, I'm not so sure I like it, or that it's true. I think a better phrase might be,...

An air strike from a Predator drone killed 15-20 people in the tribal areas of Pakistan yesterday. According to most reports, the targets were al-Qaida operatives. Presumably, the CIA, NSA, and other government intelligence agencies had intelligence information as to the location of the operatives...

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich just finished a press conference in which he claimed that he is not participating in the Senate impeachment trial, scheduled to start Monday, because the Senate impeachment trial rules deprive Blagojevich of a fundamentally fair hearing. Blagojevich is right that he...

Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans ...

As if the flubbed oath of office wasn't enough, it has now been revealed that the all-star musical ensemble at Barack Obama's inauguration didn't play the music you heard live. The honorable Itzhak Perlman, Gabriela Montero, Yo-Yo Ma, and Anthony McGill actually played on the...