15 Conn. L. Rev. 377 (1982-1983)
Book Review

handle is hein.journals/conlr15 and id is 395 raw text is: BOOK REVIEW

Karmel Breaks Rank
REGULATION BY PROSECUTION. Roberta S. Karmel.* New York:
Simon and Schuster, 1982. 400 pp. $9.99.
Reviewed by Nicholas Wolfson**
Roberta Karmel emphasizes, in her critical book on the Securities
and Exchange Commission (SEC), that she is a child of the liberal
New Deal. Indeed, early in the book she stresses, I never knew a Re-
publican until I went away to college. Presumably, she has met a few
more since then. All of her professional life, she has been a part of the
SEC constituency. She spent her formative professional years as a
staff attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission's New York
regional office.2 She then left the Commission and practiced securities
law with several prestigious New York law firms. In 1977, she became
the first woman SEC commissioner.
During her tenure as an SEC commissioner, she gained notoriety
because of her efforts to curb the prosecutorial activities of the SEC
staff. Her well-publicized dissents, criticizing overzealous prosecution,
shocked and angered securities lawyers in the SEC and in private prac-
tice as well. I think her book indicates, however, that the individual
most disturbed and shocked by her dissents was Roberta Karmel her-
self. She is, as she continually emphasizes, a traditional New Deal lib-
eral. She still believes in the value of governmental regulation. What
she saw in practice, however, dismayed her. She argues that
[l]iberalism has been accepted so easily for so long in this country
that liberal administrators, legislators, and judges have grown intellec-
*Partner, Rogers & Wells, New York City, New York. B.A. 1959, Radcliffe College; LLB.
1962, New York University School of Law. Commissioner, United States Securities and Exchange
Commission, 1977-1980.
**Professor of Law, University of Connecticut School of Law. A.B. 1953, Columbia University.
J.D. 1956, Harvard University.
2. Id. at 18.

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