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SEC Settles FCPA Charges Against Global Manufacturer

On December 15, the SEC settled charges against a global manufacturer for allegedly violating the FCPA by providing non-business payments and travel expenses to Chinese government officials with the expectation of obtaining...more

FINRA Fines Financial Firms for Anti-Money Laundering Failures

On December 18, FINRA announced a joint $1.5 million penalty against two broker-dealers for anti-money laundering failures. According to anti-money laundering compliance program requirements, broker-dealers opening new...more

Top 5 Securities and Corporate Governance Litigation Developments of 2014

This year will be remembered as the year of the Super Bowl of securities litigation, Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc. (“Halliburton II”), 134 S. Ct. 2398 (2014), the case that finally gave the Supreme Court the...more

Carving Out Small

States have been vested with the responsibility to regulate the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages since the repeal of Prohibition. In carrying out this authority, many states have implemented a three...more

Alstom Joins Santa’s Naughty List – In a Very Big Way

The North Pole for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement action announcements seems to have temporarily moved south for the month of December. Last week there was the final announcement of the long-standing Avon...more

Marriott Fined $600,000 For Wi-Fi Jamming

On October 3, 2014, Marriott International entered into a consent decree with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) where Marriott agreed to pay a $600,000 fine for jamming conference guests' Wi-Fi hotspots at the...more

A New Prosecutorial Frontier: SEC Seeks Bans on Municipal Officials

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) was recently granted a preliminary agreement by a federal judge to bar a municipal official from participating in future bond sales. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the...more

There’s No Place Like Home: SEC Increasingly Uses Administrative Proceedings

Stung by adverse court rulings in some of its enforcement cases, the SEC is bringing more of those cases in its own forum—an SEC administrative proceeding. ...more

SEC Fines Virtual Currency Operator For Alleged Registration Violations

On December 8, the SEC fined a computer programmer $68,387.07 for operating two separate online exchanges that traded securities using virtual currency without registering the businesses as broker dealers. Further, the SEC...more

Setting the Table - The FDA’s Proposed Food Safety Rule: What Warehouse Leaders Need to Know

Although the FDA has characterized the risk of food contamination during transportation as “low,” a proposed FDA regulation, entitled “Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food” will impose new restrictions which all...more

Searching for Greener Pastures: SEC Insider Trading Enforcement in a Post-Newman Era

In United States v. Newman, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit dealt a substantial blow to federal prosecutors’ epic crackdown on insider trading by raising the bar for the government’s burden of proof in...more

Whole Foods’ Proposal for Proxy Access Is Sufficient to Exclude Shareholder Proposal

In a closely watched development, the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance Staff (Staff) granted no-action relief in early December to Whole Foods Market, Inc. (Whole Foods, or the Company) in response to the Company’s...more

Investment Management Director Offers Top 10 Lessons Learned in 2014

In a December 10, 2014 speech, Norm Champ, the Director of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, offered a glimpse at the top 10 industry lessons learned in 2014. While admitting that his Top Ten list “may not be as...more

Investment Management Legal + Regulatory Update -- December 2014

In This Issue: - Regulation ..SEC Chair’s Agenda Provides Glimpse of New Rules to Come ..The Results Are In: Investors Favor Additional Regulatory Protection ..SEC Declines to Approve Non-Transparent...more

Small Business Legislative and Regulatory Update

In this presentation: - GSA Schedule Contracts: Veterans First? - 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”): - NDAA Revisions To LOS - New Mentor Protégé Program - NDAA Impact On MP...more

Forum Selection For SEC Cases – District Court or Administrative Proceeding?

In late September the SEC filed a settled insider trading case against an associate of an unregistered investment adviser. In the Matter of Richard O’Leary, Adm. Proc. File No. 3-16166 (September 25, 2014). The next week the...more

Survey Says Sharing Information is Crucial in a Volatile Data Security Environment

Information sharing allows for better insight into existing threats and vulnerabilities and alerts organizations to the existence of important data that can help prevent cyberattacks and mitigate the effects of ongoing...more

SEC’s Administrative Proceedings: Where One Stands Appears to Depend on Where One Sits

As we have previously reported, practitioners and judges alike have recently been questioning the SEC’s increased use of administrative proceedings. Defense lawyers complain that administrative proceedings, which have...more

Financial Regulatory Developments Focus - December 2014 #2

In this issue: - Bank Prudential Regulation & Regulatory Capital - Bank Structure - Derivatives - Financial Market Infrastructure - Financial Services - People - Events...more

Should Judicial Deference To The SEC Be Strong, Weak or Non-Existent?

This post yesterday by Broc Romanek alerted me to Judge Leonard P. Stark’s recent opinion in Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165431 (D. Del. Nov. 26, 2014). The case involved Wal-Mart’s...more

Insurance Regulator Too 'Aggressive,' Insurers Say

Four insurance companies sued the California Department of Insurance, claiming the agency has become "increasingly aggressive" in its efforts to enforce the state's Unfair Insurance Practices Act....more

Was California’s Public Records Act Founded On The Aventine Hill?

I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that the ancient Romans chose to explain their origins with tales of defeat, invasion, fratricide, communal rape and assassination. The city, which eventually occupied seven hills...more

National League of Cities Issues Report on the Sharing Economy

The National League of Cities has released a report on the current climate across the nation with regard to the “sharing economy” that may provide localities who are dealing with these issues potential templates to follow....more

New Accounting Standards Could Profoundly Impact Incentives Transparency

Executive Summary - The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) has issued an exposure draft of a proposed statement (the “Statement”). The Statement, for the first time, would set uniform minimum disclosure...more

New Jersey Court Supports Peer Review Immunity for Hospital

On November 24, 2014, the New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed a lower court’s decision to dismiss a physician’s lawsuit against a hospital based on federal and state statutory immunity provisions that shield hospitals and...more

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