Contact: Meredith Dickenson or Ellen Sterner
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7654
October 31, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- Southern Methodist University's Dedman School of Law with the support of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Foundation will launch a Director's Institute aimed at directors of publicly held companies. The SMU law school is the only school in the Southwest selected for the program.

The institute will help outside directors -- including those who sit on audit committees -- with their legal obligations and oversight roles. As part of the training, speakers from the NYSE and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), among others, will explain a host of sweeping reforms mandating new standards for corporate governance. The Dedman School of Law plans to offer its Directors' Institute in the spring and fall of each year, with space limited to 75 participants per program. The institute's first program is slated for March 27-28, 2003.

Only a few elite universities in the nation are offering similar types of institutes. In the last few years, for example, institutes have been established at Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, the University of Chicago and Stanford University.

"We are very pleased that the NYSE has recognized the national caliber of our faculty and our long-standing support in corporate law and specifically corporate governance," said John Attanasio, dean of SMU's Dedman School of Law and the William Hawley Atwell Professor of Constitutional Law. "We are delighted to contribute to the discussion of these timely issues."

Dedman securities law professor Marc Steinberg, the Rupert and Lillian Radford Professor of Law, was instrumental in bringing the institute to SMU. Steinberg, a prolific author in the securities law area, previously was an enforcement attorney at the SEC. He will become the institute's director, organizing the topics and speakers for the twice-a-year program.

"We are very pleased and honored to be selected as one of the few sites in the nation for these conferences supported by the NYSE. We are confident that the institute will be preeminent in the Southwest as well as nationally," Steinberg said.

The first program to be held March 27-28, 2003, will include information on the new federal reform legislation, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; changing standards of conduct in the boardroom, including new duties for audit and compensation committees; and ways directors can minimize their liability to shareholders lawsuits. In addition to drawing speakers from the NYSE and the SEC, the institute plans to invite members of the Delaware judiciary, the primary state in the United States for business incorporation, experienced corporate board members, and attorneys and academics who excel in the field of securities and corporate governance.

For more information about the Directors' Institute at the Dedman School of Law, call 214-768-2585.