General Business Constitutional Law Securities

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SEC Administrative Law Judge Appointments Held Likely Unconstitutional

Defendants in SEC administrative enforcement proceedings have increasingly been going to federal court to challenge the SEC’s stepped-up use of its "in-house" tribunal. While the early results were not promising, more recent...more

SEC Must Stop 2 Admin Cases Pending 2nd Circuit Constitutionality Decision

Two rulings last week ordered the SEC to stop administrative proceedings in two cases, pending the Second Circuit’s ruling on the constitutionality of its administrative forum. The Second Circuit stayed the SEC’s prosecution...more

SEC Seeks Increased Access to Email

Jacqui Merrill, an Associate at The Volkov Law Group, joins us with a posting on the SEC’s request for increased access to emails. In a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting held on September 16, 2015, Securities and...more

Second Circuit Stays SEC Administrative Proceeding

Defendants continue to pound nails into what may be to be the SEC’s coffin that its administrative proceedings are unconstitutional. If the genie is out of the bottle it’s hard to tell what the far reaching implications...more

SEC ALJ Dismisses Case: Inside-Info Trades, But No Tipper Benefit

An SEC administrative law judge (“ALJ”) found that former Wells Fargo trader Joseph Ruggieri traded on material nonpublic information tipped him by former analyst Greg Bolan, but dismissed the insider-trading charges against...more

SEC Administrative Law Judges Ruled Unconstitutional

Introduction - A recent decision from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York concludes that the manner in which Administrative Law Judges (“ALJs”) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission...more

Having the Last Word on the Last Word: SEC Says Its ALJs are “Mere Employees”

In what will surely not be the last word on this continuing controversy, on September 3, 2015, a majority of the members of the Securities and Exchange Commission held that the appointment process for the Commission’s...more

Slowing Down the SEC Administrative Train

I am convinced that the law eventually reaches the “right” solution. There may be disastrous detours along the way, but in the end the law will adapt to reach the right result. Of course, our history is replete with instances...more

Judge Berman Deflates SEC’s ALJ Appointment Process

United States District Court Judge Richard M. Berman of the Southern District of New York has been making headlines in recent weeks as he presides over the highly publicized case between the National Football League (“NFL”)...more

SEC’s Conflict Mineral Rule Disclosure Requirement Unconstitutional Again

The SEC’s conflict mineral disclosure rule, enacted under Dodd-Frank, is a continuing source of controversy. An initial challenge to the rules was brought by the National Association of Manufactures. That challenge was...more

Court of Appeals Confirms that Conflict Minerals Reporting Requirement is Unconstitutional

On August 18, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reaffirmed its April 2014 decision in NAM v. SEC, where it held that certain portions of the SEC’s conflict minerals reporting requirements unconstitutionally...more

D.C. Circuit Reaffirms Previous Conflict Minerals Decision: Disclosure Requirement Violates First Amendment

In a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reaffirmed its previous decision striking down a narrow portion of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) conflict...more

Conflict Minerals Rule Still Unconstitutional After Rehearing

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued its decision on the conflict minerals rule after a rehearing. In National Association of Manufacturers, et al, v. SEC, the Court adhered to its original...more

Second Federal Judge Enjoins “Likely Unconstitutional” SEC Admin Actions

Manhattan federal Judge Richard Berman yesterday (August 12) issued a preliminary injunction halting the SEC’s administrative action against former S&P executive Barbara Duka, holding the SEC’s in-house courts were “likely...more

SDNY Enjoins SEC Administrative Proceeding

In Duka v. SEC, the District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a preliminary injunction to enjoin an SEC administrative proceeding because the proceeding is “likely unconstitutional.” The court gave the same...more

Blog: New Study Gives Mixed Reviews To Companies Filing Conflict Minerals Reports

A new study on conflict minerals compliance from Tulane University and Assent Compliance, a compliance software and services firm, revealed that, about 90% of filers of conflict minerals reports indicated that they were...more

Second Circuit: Facebook Shareholders Lack Standing for Derivative Suits Challenging Pre-IPO Statements

Earlier this week, a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit opinion reinforced that federal courts take standing in derivative actions quite seriously, particular when the alleged director misconduct predated the IPO....more

Delaware Expands Jurisdiction Over Directors

A recent but little-known decision by a Delaware court may have substantially expanded the state's jurisdiction over the directors of a Delaware corporation. Delaware has long had a director-consent-to-service statute: 10...more

The SEC’s Clawback Proposal – An Unconstitutional Taking?

In proposing incentive compensation clawback rules, the Securities and Exchange Commission studiously ignored any constitutional restraints on its actions.  Buried in the 198-page proposal is this chilling assertion...more

One Step Forward and One Step Back: Southern District of New York Denies Motion to Enjoin SEC’s Administrative Proceedings,...

Last week, the SEC scored a victory in its battle to defend the use of administrative proceedings in enforcement actions seeking penalties against unregulated entities or persons. On June 30, 2015, Southern District of New...more

SEC Enforcement Defendants Descend on Georgia for Judicial Relief from the SEC’s Allegedly Unconstitutional In-House Tribunal

It is often hot in Georgia this time of year. In one particular Georgia federal court, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been feeling some of that heat on an issue of significant interest to subjects of...more

SEC Provides Guidance on Definition of “Spouse” and “Marriage”

The SEC has provided guidance on the definition of “spouse” and “marriage” in the wake of United States v Windsor. That case held Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. As a result the SEC will...more

Blog: This Year’s Conflict Minerals Filings Show Some Improvement, According To Early Review

An early review of conflict minerals filings for the 2014 reporting period shows improvement in “detail, clarity and quality,” according to this article in BNA. As reported by Elm Sustainability Partners, a conflict minerals...more

Georgia District Court Rules SEC’s Use of Administrative Law Judges In Insider Trading Case “Likely Unconstitutional”

On June 8, in Hill v. Securities And Exchange Commission, Civ. Action No. 1:15-CV-1801-LMM, a Georgia federal judge ruled that the Securities and Exchange Commission’s use of an in-house Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) to...more

SEC Has No Plans to Change the Way Administrative Judges Are Appointed (For Now)

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, entered a preliminary injunction preventing the SEC from conducting an administrative proceeding in an insider trading matter. In the...more

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