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Georgia Governor Signs into Law Revisions to Business Judgment Rule, Codifying Protections for Banking and Corporate Officers and...

On Tuesday, Governor Nathan Deal signed into law a change to Georgia’s business judgment rule. The legislation, which was supported by the Georgia Bankers Association and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, purports to modernize...more

Ninth Circuit Holds D&O Policy Bars Coverage of FDIC’s Claims

In a decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in finding for a directors & officers (D&O) insurer, denied coverage of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) claims against a failed bank’s former...more

CFPB Loses a Major Battle (But Not Quite the War) Against Third Party Payment Processors

A recent US District Court decision dismissing a claim brought by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) against a third-party processor and two of its executives deals a setback to the agency’s ability to pursue...more

Incentive Compensation for Employees: Instead of Increasing Banks' Bottom Lines, These Arrangements May Increase the Risk of Fines

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) recently issued guidance to regulated banking institutions (Institutions) prohibiting them from implementing incentive-based compensation programs unless these...more

A Subtle Snare of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act for Businesses Indirectly Supporting International Terrorism

While countless news outlets have reported the recent Congressional override of President Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), few have given much thought to the more nuanced consequences...more

When Outside Compliance Monitors May Be a Blessing: Companies Subjected to Corporate Integrity Agreements May Be Undone by Rogue...

Companies face ever-increasing pressures to implement mechanisms designed to prevent or effectively address employee malfeasance. In today’s environment, even companies who appear to be cooperating with investigative and...more

Cooperate or Terminate: Second Circuit Protects Companies that Terminate Employees for Failure to Cooperate with Investigations

On June 16, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the right of a company to terminate for cause executives who refuse to cooperate with an internal investigation and remain “silent” even with the specter of...more

SEC Proposes Controversial Rule Requiring Companies to Adopt No-Fault Clawback Policies

Recently, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or the Commission) proposed a controversial new rule under the Dodd-Frank Act that instructs companies to establish policies that require “executive officers” to...more

Ten Items to Consider as FINRA’s Consolidated Supervision Rules Take Effect

On December 1, 2014, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) Consolidated Supervision Rules will take effect. The Consolidated Supervision Rules, which were approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange...more

11/25/2014  /  FINRA , Regulatory Standards , SEC

What Does It Take to Make the SEC Happy? SEC Criticism of Broker-Dealers’ Due Diligence for Sales of Unregistered Securities...

To ensure that broker-dealers (BDs) do not inadvertently facilitate an unlawful distribution of securities, the Securities and Exchange Commission has long required BDs to conduct a “reasonable inquiry” into the circumstances...more

FINRA Provides New Carve-Out Provisions to Include in Settlement and Confidentiality Agreements

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Member Firms have new language to include in their settlement and confidentiality agreements. On October 9, FINRA released Regulatory Notice (RN) 14-40, warning that firms are...more

Legal Alert: Largest SEC Whistleblower Award Could Have Been Larger

On September 22, 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced the largest-ever whistleblower award, more than double last year’s record-breaking award. According to the Order, the award, which will likely...more

Second Circuit Rejects Extraterritorial Application of Dodd-Frank’s Whistleblower Anti-Retaliation Provision

On August 14, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit became the first U.S. appellate court to weigh in on the extraterritorial application of the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street...more

Congress Scrutinizes Hedge Funds’ Use of Financial Derivatives

This week the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (Subcommittee), in conjunction with the Subcommittee’s hearing on July 22, 2014, released a report on...more

SEC Approves Rule Preventing Barters for Expungement Cooperation – What You Can Do to Ensure Compliance

On July 22, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) proposed Rule 2081, which prevents firms or associated persons from conditioning settlement or...more

Georgia Supreme Court Applies the Business Judgment Rule to Bank Officers and Directors; Decision Has Implications for Corporate...

In a landmark ruling for officers and directors of Georgia’s financial institutions, the Supreme Court of Georgia held in FDIC v. Loudermilk, S14Q0454 (Ga. July 11, 2014), that officers and directors of banks are protected by...more

Securities Class Action Defendants Can Rebut the Basic Fraud-on-the-Market Presumption of Reliance at the Class Certification...

The U.S. Supreme Court held yesterday that defendants in securities fraud class actions can defeat the Basic fraud-on-the-market presumption of reliance at the class certification stage “through evidence that the...more

SEC Launches First Whistleblower Retaliation Case Under Dodd-Frank

On June 16, 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) initiated and resolved its first case charging an employer with unlawfully retaliating against a securities whistleblower under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street...more

SEC Issues $875,000 Whistleblower Award

On June 3, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) issued a whistleblower award to two individuals who had provided information leading to a successful SEC enforcement action. The whistleblower...more

U.S. District Judge in Florida Dismisses SEC Action Against Corporate Defendants and Holds that Five-Year Statute of Limitations...

On May 12, Judge James Lawrence King of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida dismissed with prejudice the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) case against five defendants in an action...more

Georgia District Court Judge Rules that FIRREA Precludes D&O Insurer Declaratory Judgment Actions Against FDIC as Receiver and...

On March 5, 2014, Judge Richard Story in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia issued an order denying Plaintiff OneBeacon Midwest Insurance Company’s (OneBeacon) Motion for Limited...more

SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower Warns Companies and Inside Counsel Against Using Employment Incentives to Deter External...

During a recent panel discussion at the Georgetown University Law Center’s 18th Annual Corporate Counsel Institute, the head of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower, Sean McKessy, warned...more

Are we headed toward “Basic writ small”?

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument yesterday in the closely watched Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc., No. 13-317, which places in the Court’s crosshairs the continued viability of the fraud-on-the-market...more

Supreme Court Expands SOX Whistleblower Protection to Employees of Private Contractors of Public Companies

In the first SOX whistleblower case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Court held on March 4 that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) prohibits private contractors of publicly traded companies from retaliating...more

M&A Brokers Exempt from SEC Broker-Dealer Registration Requirements

On January 31, 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Division of Trading and Markets issued a No-Action Letter (Letter)1 that allows a private business broker (M&A Broker) to receive transaction-based...more

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