The ‘Litigation Explosion’

  • Jonathan R. H. H. Pockson


In the past decade the United States has undergone social political and economic changes which have affected every facet of its society. The late 1960s and early 1970s were periods of expansion for ‘conglomerate’ corporations. Some of the less respectable conglomerate operators1 took advantage of the rising stock market in this period to expand their operations through take-over policies. Many ‘highflying’ or ‘glamour’ stocks had rapid rises on the exchanges and even more dramatic failures,2 involving reorganisation or qualified audit reports.


Accounting Profession Audit Financial Statement Court Action Audit Standard Class Action Suit 
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  1. 1.
    For examples of the dubious practices of a number of conglomerate enterprises see A. Briloff, Unaccountable Accounting: Games Accountants Play ( New York: Harper and Row, 1972 ).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    One noted example is the National Student Marketing Corporation, whose rise and fall is depicted in A. Tobias, The Funny Money Game (London: Michael Joseph, 1972). See also SEC influence in ‘Securities Act Release’ no. 5275 — ‘The Obligations of Underwriters, Brokers and Dealers in Distributing and Trading Securities, particularly of New High Risk Ventures’.Google Scholar
  3. 9.
    Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co, Research Opportunities in Auditing (New York, 1976 ).Google Scholar
  4. 21.
    See R. Brown (ed.), History of Accounting and Accountants ( London: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd., 1968 ).Google Scholar
  5. S. A. Zeff, Forging Accounting Principles in Five Countries ( Illinois: Stipes Publishing Co., 1971 ).Google Scholar
  6. L. Carey, The Rise of the Accounting Profession (AICPA, 1979 ).Google Scholar
  7. 24.
    George J. Benston, ‘Accounting Standards in the United States and the United Kingdom: Their Nature, Causes and Consequences’, 28 Vanderbilt Law Review (1975) p. 236.Google Scholar

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© Jonathan R.H.H. Pockson 1982

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  • Jonathan R. H. H. Pockson

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