Elon Musk’s $50 Billion Dollar Pay Package Trial

Posted by Jacob Hummel. 

Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, has made headlines again recently. This time for a legal dispute over a 2018 compensation package that would award Musk potentially upwards of $55 billion in Tesla stock. A Tesla stockholder, Richard J. Tornetta, is taking legal action in Delaware Court to invalidate the package. His lawyers argue that the compensation should be voided because it was “dictated by Musk and a product of sham negotiations with the directors who were not independent of him” (Chase). They also argue that the shareholders approved it based on misleading and incomplete information.

The Defense argued that the deal was fairly negotiated by parties whose members were independent and denied Musk’s involvement. At the time of the negotiation, Musk was not a controlling shareholder, because he owned less than a third of the company, limiting the influence he would’ve had on the executives crafting the package. In addition, they argued that it also passed through a shareholder vote, which wasn’t even necessary under Delaware law. Musk himself, in an earlier November trial, denied that he had any involvement with the board or its compensation committee, and stated that he did not dictate the terms of the compensation package.

Defense attorney Evan Chesler argued the package benefited not just Musk, but all shareholders, who in the time of the package’s existence have seen Tesla’s value climb from around $50 billion to over $600 billion. Finally, the defense also claimed that the shareholders were informed of the potential compensation Musk could receive before they voted on the package. This was supposed to be the cases’ final day in court. However, after the hearing on February 21, the court ordered another round of briefing on various legal issues.

Jacob is a freshman at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, majoring in Finance.

Works Cited:
Musk’s Tesla pay package is now worth more than $30 billion – Yahoo Finance. Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo!, 12 Feb. 2023,

Failed Bank Clients Risk ‘Draconian’ Fines if They Miss Payroll

Poted by Peter Smutelovic.

The most talked about topic in past few days is the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. Bank run just happened with Silicon Valley Bank. Bank runs happen because Bank does not actually have all your money. All banks do the same thing they take money from depositors and loan some of that money or buy some other assets to make profit. The problem is when all people want their money back at the same time. This result in a bank run. So why all people wanted all their money from Silicon Valley bank out.

The problem was with bond, because Silicon Valley used the deposited money to buy loans to gain interest on the money. However, as interest rates increased the value of the purchased bonds decreased in price, became less valuable. Problem occurred when they had to sell the bonds back since customers wanted to take out money. So, Silicon Valley bank had to sell the bonds at a huge loss. Because they needed money for all the people wanting to withdraw money. When people heard that bank might not have enough money, all the people wanted to take out their money to make sure that they do not lose them if the bank collapses which led to bank run. This led to federal regulators announce a plan that would give Silicon Valley Bank depositors an access to their money.

“Looking at the liquidity crisis that loomed over the weekend, employers were really between a rock and a hard place,” Caminiti said. “They might not have had access to their funds, but they may have still been exposed to significant damages and penalties, as well as the potential for personal liability” for company executives. The penalties for unpaid or late wages vary widely but can be dramatic. Massachusetts and New jersey businesses can owe damages worth triple the number of wages. California imposes smaller civil penalties for unpaid or late wages, but lawsuits brought under the state’s Private Attorney General Act add to the legal risks for employers there. California regulators signaled in an email to Littler Mendelson P.C. attorneys they wouldn’t pursue late payments related to the Silicon Valley Bank failure as “willful” violations, and that the state agency would aim to resolve related PAGA(The Labor Code Private Attorney General Act-authorizes aggrieved employees to file lawsuits to recover civil penalties on behalf of themselves, other employees, and the State of California for Labor Code violations) claims outside of litigation. “Especially in light of the significant uncertainty, these are prudent steps to mitigate the impacts on companies that are operating in good faith and their employees,” Lisa Powell, general counsel for the California. This approach will focus on companies impacted by the closure, and it is important to emphasize that this is not an invitation for companies that have access to funds to make payroll to delay those payments.
Federal wage and hour law doesn’t outline an explicit timeline for when payment is due, but various courts and the US Department of Labor have interpreted a missed paycheck as a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. An employer also can face liquidated damages for an FLSA violation, unless it can prove it “acted in good faith” or had “a reasonable belief that it was complying with the FLSA.

According to Noah A. Finkel, an employment attorney with Seyfarth Shaw LLP in Chicago, states differ in how they define a late paycheck, with some demanding payment a particular number of days after a pay period ends and others not establishing a deadline. In a scenario where bank savings momentarily become unavailable, employers would have a good case for saying that authorities should be kind, maybe by levying less fines, Finkel said. He replied, “It would seem that a breach would not be purposeful in this circumstance. A different situation would arise if an employer asked employees to labor even though they knew they wouldn’t be paid, according to Finkel. In that case, employers likely would have to furlough employees until funds became available again or else face potentially steep penalties for wage violations.
“Problems with this plan occurs when employers can’t be sure whether a late wage payment would be shown leniency because of factors beyond the company’s control, “Caminiti said, adding that the standard for a “willful” violation doesn’t require malice. So to try to help the bank, by giving them some allowance is not a great solution since most of the people live from paycheck to paycheck and they need the money now.

Peter is an economics major class at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2025.


Paid Leave Laws

Posted by Gabriella Davila.

A current news article I read was, “New Illinois law mandates paid leave ‘for any reason.” Illinois will become one of three states that will mandate time off. Illinois will require workers who work certain hours to get time off no matter what the situation is. This law was passed in two other states as well. All states get paid time off but only due to health-related reasons. This law will require businesses to approve time off no matter the situation if they work certain hours required by law. Illinois will require businesses to acquire one hour of paid time off per 40 hours worked. Employees can use these hours up to 90 days (about 3 months) of working.

This law is specifically designed for the lower income people because they cannot miss a day of work. This is designed so they do not have to worry about taking a day off. They are planning to make the state work with families and tourists. They are trying to make a good post-pandemic plan for all the people of Illinois. The pandemic really messed up a lot of families. Many families struggled and got sick and those who are lower class struggled. The goal is to make a plan to help everyone.

This quote caught my eye after going through the pandemic. “Whether it’s to deal with the illness of a family member, or take a step back for your mental health, enshrining paid leave rights is a step forward for our state.” I believe this is a good step forward in the post-pandemic era. Everyone deserves days off for their mental health or family health. Everyone’s mental health should be more important than money.

Gabriella is a business student at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2025.


Ticketmaster Antitrust Case

Posted by Allison Woodlard.

In recent years, the live event ticketing industry has been surrounded by lawsuits as companies are engaging in harmful and anticompetitive behavior. This is further discussed in the Bloomberg Law article titled “ANALYSIS: Ticketmaster, TSwift, and Antitrust’s Role in Markets” written by legal analysis Eleanor Tyler. Live Nation Entertainment Inc. is composed of two companies: an events promoter and venue operator known as Live Nation, and the ticket sales giant known as Ticketmaster. In late November 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation into Ticketmaster and filed an antitrust lawsuit against them in response to the company’s handling of the sale for Taylor Swift’s upcoming tour. Ticketmaster said that an unexpectedly high number of customers overloaded its system during the pre-approved fan sale, and as a result of this, their promised general public sale that was to follow was cancelled.

In addition to the situation with Taylor Swift’s tour, Ticketmaster has been in hot water because of their violation of antitrust regulations. The lawsuit centers around their use of exclusivity contracts with venues and promoters to prevent competitors from gaining a foothold in the market. This has led to higher ticket prices for consumers and limited choices for both fans and artists. In addition to this, it is alleged that Live Nation has used its control over concert venues to force other ticketing companies out of the market. This article further explores the broader issue of antitrust enforcement in the live event industry, particularly as it relates to the growing power of dominant players like Ticketmaster and Live Nation. It argues that antitrust laws are necessary to promote competition and protect consumers in this industry, but that enforcement efforts may be hindered by factors such as industry consolidation and the difficulty of defining relevant markets. It states, “the latest case pending in the California federal court, attacks head-on Ticketmaster’s claim that lawsuits must be arbitrated. It alleges that Ticketmaster has a new arbitration provision shunting claims to an arbitrator that is so procedurally and substantively unfair that the arbitration provision itself is unconscionable. In addition to that claim, the plaintiff alleges (as prior cases have) that Ticketmaster is leveraging its market power in the primary sales market to gain dominance in the secondary sales market” (Tyler, 2022).

In addition to this, Ticketmaster’s abuse of market power is also proven by their failure to crack down on ticket scalping. As the largest primary ticket seller in the US, they do not care if a true fan does not get the face-value ticket since they make much more money from the fees generated by scalpers and the reselling actions. The article states, “according to the latest SEC filings of Ticketmaster’s parent corporation, giant tour promoter and venue owner Live Nation Entertainment Inc., Ticketmaster’s resale business generated over $1.1 billion in gross transaction volume in the third quarter of 2022 alone, more than doubling its resale volume in Q3 2019” (Tyler, 2022). A face-value ticket sale to a fan only generates one fee for Ticketmaster, but a sale to a re-seller generates at least two, so the company has not expressed any plan to be stricter about it.

On a broader outlook, the potential success of the antitrust lawsuit against Ticketmaster and Live Nation could have far-reaching implications for the live event industry, potentially leading to increased competition, lower ticket prices, and more choice for consumers and artists. The author of the article emphasizes the importance of antitrust enforcement in promoting fair and open markets, particularly in industries that are dominated by a small number of players.

Allison is a sports management and marketing student at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2025.

Tyler, Eleanor. “Analysis: Ticketmaster, TSWIFT, and Antitrust’s Role in Markets.” Bloomberg Law, 23 Nov. 2022, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/bloomberg-law-analysis/analysis-ticketmaster-tswift-and-antitrusts-role-in-markets.

Alex Murdaugh Case

Posted by Luigi Del Mauro

Richard Alexander Murdaugh was a prominent lawyer in South Carolina in a family law office. He was married to his wife Maggie and shared two sons Buster and Paul. His family served 87 years in elected positions in South Carolina.

On June 7 2021, Alex Murdaugh was charged with the deaths of his wife Maggie and his son Paul. At 10:07 PM, Alex Murdaugh calls 911 and says he has found the lifeless bodies of his wife Maggie and his son Paul. Afterwards, it was also determined that Murdaugh hired a man to kill him in assisted suicide so that Murdaugh’s son Buster could collect a 10-million-dollar life insurance. Murdaugh has over 100 different counts against him that he can be charged with.

On January 23, 2023 Alex Murdaugh trial on homicide charges began with jury selection. Alex Murdaugh, a seasoned lawyer, takes on his defense with his team of lawyers. The prosecution submitted evidence at trial proving Alex Murdaugh was present when his wife and son were shot just before they were killed. Murdaugh’s defense strategy was admitting to having a severe opioid addiction and was spending over 50k a week on drugs which could have been a motive for the murders for drug money. On March 2, 2023 Alex Murdaugh was found guilty of double homicide by a jury of his peers and was sentenced to two maximum life sentences. The jury consisting of eight women and four men found Alex Murdaugh guilty after deliberating for only three hours.

Alex Murdaugh to this day still denies the charges of the murders of Maggie and Paul and is appealing his conviction.

Luigi is a finance major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2026.


Black Market Marijuana

Posted by Colin Dowlen.

The main purpose of this article that is titled, Marijuana’s black market is undercutting legal businesses, is to inform the readers about the topic of buying and selling marijuana, and how in New York, the unlicensed companies are making the same impact on people as the legal businesses are, which are hurting the state’s economy. The beginning of the article states how New York just gave out its first dispensary licenses last month, even though marijuana has been legal in the state for almost two years. Trivette Knowles, a press officer who is a part of the New York State Office of Cannabis Management stated, “These shops are masquerading as safe, legal entities, but there are currently no licensed sales happening right now in the state of New York.” This part shows that even though business can sell marijuana legally now, the other companies are still out selling them because they have been around longer, and since selling marijuana is legal, there is nothing that can be done about it. Reiman of New Frontier Data, states that unregulated markets pose health risks for the consumers, for example, a studied showed that 40% of the stores contained harmful containments.

The last section of the article states that consumers turn to the black-market stores for marijuana because of the cheaper prices. Statistics show that California, which many believe will be the same as New York if things do not change, is that, like New York, California is a high taxed state. This means that black-market companies will always be more popular than state registered companies because of the cheaper prices, less taxes, etc. With that being said, states need to find an alternative that will either lower the prices of marijuana, or taxes need to change.

In my opinion, I think this issue will continue for a long time because it is impossible to change state taxes or have licensed businesses lower their prices because then there will be no profit for these businesses. Without profit, states will lose money in the industry, which could lead to more problems. I don’t think there is any way that it would be possible for these state businesses to overtake the black-market places because they are so far behind in sales but are also a lot cheaper for the community.

Colin is a business major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2026.


The Relvance of Precedents

Posted by Anthony Castelli.

President Joe Biden was aiming to put in place a $400 billion student loan forgiveness plan to assist students who were struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Though this plan seemed appealing to middle class families who were struggling during the pandemic, nine Supreme Court Justices did not seem very convinced with the plan’s productiveness, which made them consider two legal challenges towards this plan. While the Supreme Court challenged the Act, President Biden’s Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, who represented the Biden administration, changing the entire dynamic of the case. Many experts believed that the Biden administration’s case had been lost, but once Elizabeth Prelogar took her stance, many people switched sides. She first introduced the fact when the student loan forgiveness plan was being rolled out in August of 2021, there was a law that set a precedent where people with debt were not going to be in a worse position than they were if a national emergency took place. This specific law was known as the Heroes Act of 2003. “That law, which is a product of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, allows the U.S. Secretary of Education to ‘waive or modify’ student loan programs to ensure borrowers aren’t left worse off because of a national emergency.” (CNBC).
Based upon this precedent, it is clear that these borrowers are still owed this money because of the fact that they were already in debt before the pandemic. Since the pandemic only worsened peoples’ financial situations, this money is still owed to them because of the student loan forgiveness plan. While Justice Clarence Thomas fought back questioning “How does that fit under the normal understanding of ‘modifying’?” (CNBC), Prelogar responded by explaining how the central focus of this plan was to not let people who are borrowing money, especially students, suffer even further financially due to a national emergency such as the pandemic. Ever since her testimony regarding the purpose of the plan, Prelogar has been showered with praise from various education experts, and is even believed to have won over the majority opinion of the Supreme Court justices. One notable person who praised Prelogar was Jed Shugerman, a Fordham Law professor, who wrote, “She may have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.” (CNBC).
To conclude, the central reason that I chose to summarize this news article is because it truly explains and exemplifies the relevance that precedents hold in the court of law. Precedents can make or break a case, and in this case, it appears to have broken it from the perspective of opposers who wished to take down the bill. As we have learned in class, precedents act as an example of cases to follow when similar arise in the current day. Since the precedent of the Heroes Act of 2003 was established, it is hard to combat the notion that the case of the student loan forgiveness plan is different enough to the point that it cannot be comparable. It will be interesting to see what the final verdict of this case will be, but regardless of result, this case still proves just how compelling precedents can prove to be.

Anthony is a business major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2025.


Organized Retail Theft

Posted by Nicholas Bisaccia.

This article talks about how the state of Virginia is making organized retail theft a class 3 felony. These stricter punishments are being enacted to crack down on people stealing nearly 1.3 billion dollars annually. These people are stealing to profit which is the main reason Virginia is pushing for harsher punishments. Lots of revenue is being lost due to this and Virginia is doing its best to put a stop to it.

So what actually consists an organized retail theft? This article states “It will be a Class 3 felony for anyone to conspire or act in concert with one or more people to steal retail merchandise with a value exceeding $5,000 in a 90-day period, with the intent to sell the stolen goods for profit.” While the Republicans are all for this, the Democrats are not as fond. They are saying that this will hurt people that steal to survive and the punishments are to harsh. Regardless, Virginia has turned to harsher punishments (class 3 felony) for organized retail theft.

I believe this is a good thing for the state of Virginia and society. Stealing should be thrown under the rug, especially when it involves multiple people to take large sums of money. Stealing should also not be encouraged by the law and it should be made clear that this is something that is not right. Strict punishments should be enacted to dismay stealing.

Nicholas is a business major at the Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2026.


Will the Supreme Court Hold Tech Giants Liable?

Posted by Alyssa Bern.

Nohemi Gonzalez was only 23 years old when she was studying abroad in Paris during November 2015 when she was killed in a coordinated series of terrorist attacks. It was not long before her father sued Good and other tech companies for spreading content that “radicalized” users into “becoming terrorists”, which made them legally responsible for the harm inflicted on Gonzalez’s family (McCabe). It is this question that the Supreme Court will be dealing with Tuesday, February 21st, 2023. This is an important case because it takes aim at Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which “shields online platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Google’s YouTube from lawsuits over content posted by their users or their decisions to take content down” (McCabe). This case has the potential to narrow how that legal shield is applied which is important because it can possibly open up the companies to liability for what users post. The article goes on to mention at the day after hearing this case that they will also here Twitter v. Taamneh, over whether Twitter has contributed to terrorism.

These possible rulings can change the framework of big tech companies to date. Being able to be held libel for what users post, will give them more of a reason to take down controversial posts. But doing that can open another issue of the first amendment. Do people have the right to post certain extremist things? Are the companies really libel? These decisions will ultimately decide how to regulate online speech. In other places, it is important to recognize that they have demanded these websites to take down dangerous posts, but in the United States, it is difficult because of the protections in the First Amendment. Continually, the article mentions Critics of Section 230 and how they say it lets companies avoid responsibility for harms facilitated on their watch but supports counter that saying that without the legal shield the companies will take more content down to avoid lawsuits, but that would hurt free expression. The rulings of these cases will undoubtedly have an impact on how these companies do business and how people interact with the internet.

When considering other lawsuits that dealt with Section 230 to see how these cases could possibly impact the decisions that the Supreme Court has to make. For example, in 2021 Snap the parent company of app Snap Chat could not use section 230 to dodge lawsuit after 3 people died after using a filter that displayed speech. With this case there seems to be almost a direct connection rather than the indirect that is mentioned in the previous cases, but there can still be some similarities seen. Further, it is interesting to ask the question of how these tech companies are so okay with banning certain people on a small scale like Donald Trump but have issues when they are being told other people are inciting violence and are not being taken down. Tech companies say it will be devastating if the Supreme Court Undercut Section 230 because it is crucial to allow internet to flourish, but at what cost?

Alyssa is a senior political science major at College of Arts and Sciences, Seton Hall University, Class of 2023.


The Brittney Griner Case

Posted by Matthew Husti.

On February 17th of 2022 WNBA player Brittney Griner was detained in Russia for possession of hashish oil in her luggage. She was traveling for her off season basketball team and was sentenced for 9 years for possession of the hashish oil.

On December 8th, Brittney Griner was brought home to her home in Texas to be reunited with her family. The reason that this ended up happening was because of a trade prisoner swap between Brittney Griner and Victor Bout. Victor Bout is a dangerous man who is a Russian arms dealer and was nicknamed “The Merchant of Death”. This trade has come with a lot of backlash as Brittney Griner is not as much of a prisoner compared to Victor Bout. He has caused so many issues that a lot of people are very surprised that the United States was willing to give him up.

Russia was very excited for this prisoner exchange and Vladimir Putin has said that he is ready for more swaps. This can cause many legal issues because it seems like these prisoners will be able to get out for a trade just because they are on foreign ground. Another reason is the current state of Russia with their Ukraine situation and how they now added a arms dealer who is guaranteed to have his contacts still in Russia. A lot of people have gotten very upset because the only reason she is getting traded for is because she is a celebrity. If it were the average United States citizen, they would still be there for the entire sentence, but because she is more popular, she gets valued as much as a Russian arms dealer. Another topic that people have been getting into is Paul Whelan, who is also being held in Russia. He is a United States marine who is being detained for espionage, which is partaking in being a spy. A more realistic trade offer would have been the United States spy for Victor Bout.

People are happy that Brittney Griner is home were she should be, but many believe Paul Whelan needs to be brought home as well. This settlement was very important for relationships between the United States and Russia. I do believe that countries should entertain the ideas of swapping prisoners, however, this trade was much different do to the severity of how dangerous Victor Bout is.

Matthew is a student at Seton Hall University.