General Business Administrative Agency Securities

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SEC Overrules Its Own Administrative Law Judge to Clear Customer of Fraud Charges

In a rare reversal of its own administrative law judge in the Matter of optionsXpress, the full Securities and Exchange Commission unanimously held that the SEC’s Enforcement Division had not met its burden of proof that the...more

Public Companies to Revise Employee Confidentiality and Severance Provisions

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued two Cease and Desist Orders that dramatically change the landscape for employee contractual confidentiality provisions, as well as for employee waiver and release...more

Standard Severance Agreements May Need to Be Revised

Many employers offer severance agreements to departing employees which, at least in part, are designed to protect the employer from disclosures of confidential information and from any future claims or recovery by the...more

3 Severance Agreement Time-bombs

Last week the SEC entered a cease and desist agreement with BlueLinx Holdings, fining the company $265,000.00 for including unlawful confidentiality and waiver provisions in its severance agreements. BlueLinx used a variety...more

ALJs are A-OK: D.C. Circuit Upholds Constitutionality of SEC In-House Courts

In several recent decisions we have covered, Federal Circuit Courts have unanimously ruled that respondents in an SEC enforcement action cannot bypass the Exchange Act’s review scheme by filing a collateral lawsuit in federal...more

D.C Circuit rejects constitutional challenge to SEC’s use of administrative law judges

A challenge to the constitutionality of the SEC’s use of administrative law judges (ALJ) was rejected by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. In Raymond J. Lucia Companies, Inc. et al. v. Securities and Exchange...more

DC Circuit Upholds SEC ALJs in First Merits Opinion

The D.C. Circuit has affirmed that SEC ALJs are not constitutional Officers subject to the Appointments Clause, rejecting perhaps the strongest of the constitutional challenges to the Commission’s administrative forum. The...more

The SEC Retains its House Advantage During Administrative Proceedings

Amendments to the Rules of Practice Do Little to Address Criticism that the Deck is Stacked - Facing pressure from industry practitioners and in the wake of constitutional challenges in multiple jurisdictions, the...more

Top Ten International Anti-Corruption Developments for June 2016

In order to provide an overview for busy in-house counsel and compliance professionals, we summarize below some of the most important international anti-corruption developments from the past month, with links to primary...more

Supreme Court Declines to Review Constitutionality of SEC In-House Court

The SEC’s increased use of its own "home court" for enforcement proceedings has triggered constitutional challenges to SEC administrative proceedings (APs). See "Defendants Challenge SEC’s Increased Use of Administrative...more

SGX to Set Up Subsidiary Company ‘Regco’ for Regulatory Functions

Market players hail the establishment of a separate subsidiary to handle regulatory functions in response to concerns about conflicts of interest in SGX’s self-regulatory structure. On 18 July, Singapore Exchange (SGX)...more

New Amendments to SEC's Rules of Practice in Administrative Proceedings

On July 13, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted several amendments to its Rules of Practice regarding administrative proceedings. The amendments address, among other things, the timing of...more

Will It Be Enough?: SEC Amends Rules to Look More Like Federal Court

In a move that will make Securities and Exchange Commission administrative proceedings look more like civil litigation in federal court, on July 13, 2016, the SEC announced that it had adopted amendments to its rules of...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The SEC filed a settled FCPA action in which the employees in the China subsidiary of the firm designed and adopted a bribery scheme to circumvent the compliance procedures the company had installed as a result of an earlier...more

SEC Amends Rules for Administrative Proceedings

The SEC has approved a final rule amending its rules of practice for administrative proceedings. Among other things, the final rules would adjust the timing of administrative proceedings and give parties additional...more

The SEC’s Love Affair with Internal Controls

The SEC has been flexing its muscles lately. If you had some of the enforcement tools the SEC has, you would be doing the same. What am I referring to? The FCPA statute included broad provisions requiring companies to...more

Equity Trust Notches a Rare Defense Win in SEC Administrative Proceedings

On June 27, 2016, SEC Administrative Law Judge Carol Fox Foelak dismissed the Division of Enforcement’s charges against IRA custodian Equity Trust Company in connection with the company’s processing of investments marketed by...more

SEC Charges Private Fund Administrator with Gatekeeping Failures

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced two administrative settlements in June with a fund administrator that provided accounting and fund administration services to several private funds based on its alleged...more

Hill v. SEC: Eleventh Circuit Buries District Court Challenges to the Constitutionality of SEC Enforcement Actions

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that a district court cannot hear constitutional challenges to an ongoing administration enforcement action of the U.S. Securities and Exchange...more

Eleventh Circuit Joins Peers in Preserving SEC’s Home Court Advantage

After four failed attempts at persuading federal appellate courts to hear constitutional challenges to SEC administrative courts, it is increasingly clear that defendants in SEC in-house proceedings will not be able to pursue...more

The Whistle Blows Again: SEC Pays Second Largest Whistleblower Bounty Award

On June 9, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘SEC”) awarded the second largest whistleblower bounty – $17 million – granted under the Dodd-Frank whistleblower rules to date. Previously, the highest whistleblower...more

11th Circuit Holds Judicial Review of SEC ALJs Premature

The Eleventh Circuit Friday joined three others in concluding that Congress intended Respondents must wait until appeal from the Commission to have a Court consider their challenges to the Constitutionality of the SEC’s...more

No federal court challenge to constitutionality of SEC’s use of administrative law judges before final SEC order, Second Circuit...

A recent decision by the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit suggests that an attempt by a company or individual that is the target of a CFPB administrative enforcement action to bring a separate action in federal...more

The SEC’s Return to Accounting Fraud Enforcement

Just like the ups and downs of the business cycle, SEC enforcement of accounting fraud cases follow an up and down trend as well. For example, during the financial crisis, SEC enforcement of accounting fraud cases took a back...more

Second Circuit Halts Constitutional Challenge to SEC Administrative Proceedings

On June 1, the Second Circuit in Tilton et al. v. SEC, No. 15-2103 (2d. Cir. Jun. 1, 2016), echoed recent Seventh and D.C. Circuit decisions (respectively, Bebo v. SEC, No. 15-1511 (7th Cir. Aug. 24, 2015), cert. denied, 136...more

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