We’ve recently passed the 11,000-query mark in our “Q&A Forum.” Of course, as Broc would always point out when he wrote one of these Q&A milestone blogs, the “real” number is much higher since many queries have others piggy-backed upon them. When I first came on board, I never realized how much time I’d spend responding to these questions. Don’t get me wrong – all of my colleagues (and many of our members and advisory board members) have generously pitched in on the Q&A Forum, but everyone on the editorial team has their own set of responsibilities, and the way it turned out, addressing Q&A Forum questions is something that’s usually devolved to me.
I think there’s something in my background that may help explain why I’m usually the editor who responds to questions on the Q&A Forum. For the first 15 years or so of my career, I was essentially an outside in-house counsel for a pretty active regional investment bank. Among other things, that meant responding on a daily basis to multiple questions from investment bankers on securities law, state corporate law, directors’ fiduciary duties, M&A and capital markets deal processing issues, etc.
One banker even called me with a Lemon Law question on a Sunday afternoon when he got buyer’s remorse one hour after buying a new car. Like most bankers, they were a pretty laid-back bunch – in terms of when they wanted an answer, well, yesterday was just fine.
As you might imagine, this wasn’t my favorite part of the job and I didn’t miss it when it was taken almost entirely in-house after the investment bank was gobbled up by a big commercial bank in the late ’90s. But for better or worse, this experience implanted an almost Pavlovian reflex in me to try to respond promptly to questions. So, when I see a question on the Forum that I can answer, I
have a pathological need usually try to respond pretty quickly.
I’m far from perfect, so trying to answer these questions is sometimes a humbling experience. But fortunately, when I’m off base on a response, our members have frequently – and invariably graciously – come to my rescue. So, over the years, we’ve collectively developed quite a resource. Combined with the “Q&A Forums” on our other sites, there have been well over 35,000 individual questions answered – including over 10,000 that Alan Dye’s answered over on Section16.net. No matter how many I answer, I’ll never catch Alan!
You are reminded that we welcome – in fact, we actively encourage – your input into any query you see that you think you can shed some light on for other members of our community. There is no need to identify yourself if you are inclined to remain anonymous when you post a reply (or a question). And of course, remember the disclaimer that you need to conduct your own analysis & that any answers don’t constitute legal advice.
Don’t miss out on the Q&A Forum or any of our other practical resources – checklists, handbooks, webcasts, members-only blogs and more – which so many securities & corporate lawyers know are critical to practicing in this space. If you’re not yet a subscriber, you can sign up for a membership today by emailing email@example.com or by calling us at 800-737-1271.
– John Jenkins