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Professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy receives Dickerson-Brown Award for Excellence in Faculty Scholarship


Stetson University College of Law awarded professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy the Dickerson-Brown Award for Excellence in Faculty Scholarship during the evening Honors & Awards ceremony on May 16 on the Gulfport campus. Professor Torres-Spelliscy writes about the intersection of corporate law and election law.

Professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy

Professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy

“The issue of corporate political spending continues to be a hot topic for voters and investors alike in the aftermath of Citizens United v. FEC, the 2010 Supreme Court decision which allows unlimited corporate spending in American elections,” said Professor Torres-Spelliscy. “Unfortunately, this spending suffers from a lack of transparency, a lack of shareholder consent and a lack of internal controls. This is why research in this idea is necessary—so that policy makers responding to the new campaign finance landscape have the facts to make informed decisions.”

Since joining the Stetson faculty in 2011, she has published a book chapter, “Corporate Political Spending & Shareholders’ Rights: Why the US Should Adopt the British Approach” in the 2011 Risk Management and Corporate Governance, Jalilvand & Malliaris, eds., Routledge.

She has published four law review articles: “Safeguarding Markets from Pernicious Pay to Play: A Model Explaining Why the SEC Regulates Money in Politics” in the 2012-2013 Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal, “Taking Opt-In Rights Seriously: What Knox v. SEIU Could Mean for Post-Citizens United Shareholder Rights” in the 2013 Montana Law Review, “How Much Is an Ambassadorship? And the Tale of How Watergate Led to a Strong Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and a Weak Federal Election Campaign Act” in the 2012 Chapman Law Review, and “The $500 Million Question: Are the Democratic and Republican Governors Associations Really State PACs Under Buckley’s Major Purpose Test?” in the Spring 2012 NYU Journal of Legislation & Public Policy.

She co-authored with Dr. Kathy Fogel “Shareholder-Authorized Corporate Political Spending in the United Kingdom” in the Spring 2012 University of San Francisco Law Review and the policy report “The SEC and Dark Political Money: An Historical Argument for Requiring Disclosure” for the Corporate Reform Coalition 2013.

Professor Torres-Spelliscy also writes frequently for policy blogs and the popular press including the New York Times, L.A. Times, Slate, USA Today, Tampa Bay Times and Huffington Post.

A graduate of Harvard (AB) and Columbia Law School (JD), Torres-Spelliscy is a member of the board of directors of the National Institute on Money in State Politics and a Brennan Center fellow. She has been promoted from assistant professor of law to associate professor of law at Stetson University, effective August of 2014.