A Securities and Exchange Commission member's dispute with a prominent Harvard Law School professor has turned into something of a gang fight, academic style.
More than 30 law professors from universities such as Harvard, Columbia and Stanford are calling on SEC Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher Jr. to withdraw his paper accusing Harvard's Shareholder Rights Project of filing misleading proposals in corporate elections.
“We are especially concerned that a sitting SEC commissioner has chosen to issue such allegations without support from a prior investigation by the SEC staff and without due process of law,” the professors wrote in a paper posted Jan. 15 on Harvard Law School's blog on corporate governance and financial regulation.
The paper by Mr. Gallagher and Stanford Law School professor Joseph A. Grundfest said Harvard's project advocated for annual elections while failing to cite research that didn't support its arguments. The two argued the school could be sued by the SEC or private parties for violating rules against making false and misleading statements in annual proxy statements.
Mr. Gallagher declined to comment through an aide. Three former SEC officials, including former Chairman Harvey Pitt, issued a statement Jan. 15 backing Mr. Gallagher and saying the paper was consistent with the commissioner's duties.