General Business Administrative Agency

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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

FDA’s new menu labeling and vending machine requirements: 10 key answers for food businesses

The Food and Drug Administration has finalized its rules requiring that calorie information be listed on menus and menu boards of chains with at least 20 units operating under the same name and in connection with vending...more

5th Circuit Denies Louisiana Public Service Commission’s Petition for Review of FERC’s Entergy Bandwidth Implementation Orders

On November 14, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit denied the Louisiana Public Service Commission’s (LPSC) petition for review of various Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) orders on the...more

Safeguarding a Whistleblower’s Identity

Everyone knows that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act prohibits retaliation against whistleblowers. It may be less obvious, however, that merely disclosing a whistleblower’s identity can constitute prohibited retaliation. Nevertheless,...more

DBO Proposes Reversal Of Long-Standing CFLL Interpretation

The California Finance Lenders Law generally requires that a person engaged in the business of making consumer loans and/or commercial loans obtain a license from the Department of Business Oversight. Cal. Fin. Code § 22100....more

"MSRB Proposes Amendments Establishing Municipal Advisor Professional and Supervisory Qualification Requirements"

On November 19, 2014, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) announced that it submitted for approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed amendments to MSRB Rule G-3 to establish professional...more

FSOC Criticized by Government Accountability Office, but GAO Report Misses Critical Substantive Improvements; FRB Begins to...

The U.S. Government Accountability Office just issued a report on the Financial Stability Oversight Council's (“FSOC”) systemically important financial institution (“SIFI”) designation process, entitled “Further Actions Could...more

NAD Finds Fault with Taste Test’s Survey Universe and Test Locations

In a recent decision involving taste tests and preference claims for sweetened breakfast cereals, the National Advertising Division (NAD) once again reminds advertisers that advertising claims must be substantiated by...more

Final Menu Labeling Rules Released by FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released two final rules for menu and vending machine labeling on November 25, 2014. The long-awaited rules stem from provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the comprehensive...more

Three Principals of Adviser Settle SEC Charges Over Undisclosed Conflicts

The Commission filed another settled action based on undisclosed conflicts involving an investment adviser. In this proceeding Respondents, principals of the adviser, failed to disclose a fee splitting arrangement with an...more

Critics Question SEC’s Increasing Use of Administrative Enforcement Proceedings

The SEC is increasingly bringing enforcement actions in its administrative forum rather than federal district court, setting the stage for a legal and policy battle over this tactic. The SEC’s approach has been made...more

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