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Mercer E. Bullard

Over the last decade, Professor Bullard has established himself as one of the most prolific and influential academics in the corporate/securities field.  At a time when prospective law school students may be questioning the value of a legal education, the opportunity to learn with teachers like Professor Bullard at Ole Miss puts their concerns to rest.

Professor Bullard, an Associate Professor of Law, teaches courses on securities, banking, corporations, corporate finance, and law and economics.  He is also the Founder and President of Fund Democracy, an advocacy group for mutual fund shareholders, and a Senior Adviser with the wealth management firm Plancorp Inc.  He currently serves on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Investment Advisory Committee and the Public Policy Council of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.  Named by Investment News as one of the most powerful voices in the financial services industry, Professor Bullard has testified frequently before Congress, appeared on NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, CNBC, and other national broadcasts, and been featured in Business Week, Money Magazine and other publications.  He is frequently quoted in major newspapers and financial publications on finance- and securities-related regulatory matters.

Professor Bullard has written in a wide variety of venues.  His first academic article, which discussed the mutual fund scandal of 2003 and the communal nature of pooled investment vehicles, was selected for presentation by the Yale Stanford Junior Faculty Forum and as one of the year’s top corporate and securities articles by the Corporate Practice Commentator.  He has also published articles on hedge fund regulation, insider trading, loss causation in private securities litigation, 529 plans, and bank and money market fund insurance.   He has authored a book chapter on Chinese fund regulation and co-authored two empirical studies with economists on market timing and fund distribution.  In 13 appearances before 7 different Congressional committees, Professor Bullard has written hundreds of pages of testimony on SEC enforcement practices, investor protection, mutual fund regulation, 529 plans, pensions plans, installment contracts, and hedge funds. Professor Bullard has frequently written on regulatory issues for the financial press, publishing more than 50 articles since 2000 with Barrons, TheStreet.com, Morningstar, SmartMoney.com and other publications.  He wrote a newsletter for investment management lawyers from 2000 to 2001.

In his advocacy capacity, Professor Bullard has litigated standing issues against the SEC, successfully challenged an SEC exemptive order, and submitted amicus briefs in cases involving an SEC rulemaking on broker regulation, an SEC rulemaking on mutual fund governance, and a private lawsuit concerning the section 404 safe harbor under ERISA.  In addition to his Congressional testimony, he has authored or co-authored dozens of rulemaking petitions and comment letters on SEC and DOL rule proposals and regulatory oversight.  Professor Bullard has been invited to appear on panels by or address the ICI, FINRA, SIFMA, ASPPA, NASAA, Federal Reserve Bank and other organizations.  He has acted as an expert witness in major securities cases, including Jones v. Harris, which is currently pending before the Supreme Court, and the multi-district litigation addressing the mutual fund market timing scandal of 2003.

Professor Bullard has implemented a variety of innovative teaching methods.  In fall 2009, he is teaching Raising Capital, a new class in which students review and are electronically tested on lecture material outside of class, with class-time being reserved for team problem-solving exercises.  The class also uses online writing collaboration tools for team writing exercises and provides video and audio versions of written assignments.  In his other classes, Professor Bullard routinely incorporates graphical presentations of concepts and transactions, timelines and other nonverbal tools as educational aids, and assigns in-class electronic quizzes to teams to stimulate interaction and discussion.  He has engaged his class in a real-time analysis of an SEC open meeting and led a field trip to meet with personnel at a regional investment bank.  Professor Bullard and a colleague developed the Business Regulation Externship at Ole Miss in which students spend a semester rotating among state offices responsible for regulating insurance, banking, securities and corporations.  A number of students have gained invaluable experience working directly with Professor Bullard on current public policy matters.

Professor Bullard brings a wealth of practical experience to the classroom.  He was formerly an Assistant Chief Counsel at the Securities and Exchange Commission and practiced securities law at WilmerHale (formerly Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering) in Washington, D.C.  He previously clerked for a federal judge in Austin, Texas.  He has a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was an Articles Editor of the Virginia Law Review and became a member of the Order of the Coif, a masters degree from Georgetown University in National Security Studies, and a B.A. from Yale in English and American Studies.  Professor Bullard was born in Boston and lived primarily in New England and Washington, DC, before moving to Oxford in 2002.  He is married to Kalyna Bullard, and they have three children: Victoria (16), Charlotte (13) and Sadler (13).