Securities Civil Procedure Administrative Agency

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District Court Allows NCUA’s RMBS Suit to Proceed Against RBS

On March 16, 2015, Judge George Wu of the United States District Court for the Central District of California denied RBS Securities Inc.’s motion to dismiss the National Credit Union Administration’s second amended complaint....more

Oxfam America Argues SEC Has “Unlawfully Withheld And Unreasonably Delayed” Resource Extraction Rule

I’ve often wished that my legal acumen could be judged by the same standard as professional baseball players. If that were the case, I could be wrong nearly 60% of the time and yet be considered one of the greatest legal...more

Is Anything Fishy With The SEC’s Whistleblower Inquiries?

Yesterday, Rachel Louise Ensign of The Wall Street Journal wrote that the SEC recently sent letters “to a number of companies asking for years of nondisclosure agreements, employment contracts and other documents”.  According...more

One Good Thing and One Bad Thing about SEC Administrative Proceedings

One of my favorite lines from my kids’ books involves a cat named Pickles who’s having something of an identity crisis. Pickles doesn’t really have an owner, but does have a temporary caretaker, who tells him, “Pickles,...more

SEC Seeks Chevron Deference to Unnecessary Ruling that Dodd-Frank 180-Day Enforcement Directive Doesn’t Matter

In a brief filed last week, the SEC urged the D.C. Circuit to give Chevron deference to the Commission’s unnecessary conclusion that Congress’s 180-day enforcement deadline doesn’t matter. The conclusion is consistent with...more

2014 Year-End Securities Litigation Enforcement Highlights

In This Issue: - I. Supreme Court Cases Review - II. Securities Law Cases - III. Insider Trading Cases - IV. Settlements - V. Investment Adviser and Hedge Fund Cases - VI. CFTC Cases and...more

SEC Secures Federal Judge Order Against Mayor Based on Control Person Liability

On January 28, 2015, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan entered a final judgment against Gary Burtka, the former mayor of Allen Park, Michigan, upholding the Security and Exchange Commission...more

The SEC Totally Cares about Its Injunctions

Last week I wrote a post discussing the injunctions the SEC typically obtains against defendants in federal court. I noted the oddity of these obey-the-law injunctions and wondered aloud why the Commission never pursues...more

Fifth Circuit Rules Revealing Whistleblower's Identity Is Materially Adverse Action

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that a notice revealing a whistleblower's identity to other employees can be considered a "materially adverse" action and violates the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX). The...more

The SEC Does Not Care about Its Injunctions

It won’t surprise you to learn that the U.S. Code includes this provision: “A court of the United States shall have power to punish by fine or imprisonment, or both, at its discretion, such contempt of its authority . . . as...more

The Rule of Lenity: Should Courts Defer to Agency Interpretations of RESPA § 8?

On November 10, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for a writ of certiorari in a case entitled Douglas F. Whitman v. United States. Whitman was seeking to have the Supreme Court review (and, hopefully, overturn)...more

This “Appeal” Of Whole Foods’ No-Action Letter Isn’t Very Appealing

Last week, James McRitchie submitted an “appeal” of the staff’s grant of no-action advice to Whole Foods Market, Inc. As explained in a post by Broc Romanek, Whole Foods was able to obtain that staff’s concurrence in...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

SEC’s Second Amicus Brief On Whether Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Reports

On December 11, 2014, the SEC filed an amicus brief in support of Plaintiff-Appellant Mikael Safarian asking the Third Circuit to revive his Dodd-Frank whistleblower claim and endorse the agency’s definition of...more

District Court Rejects Constitutional Challenge to SEC Administrative Proceedings

We recently wrote that critics, including Judge Jed Rakoff, have been questioning the SEC’s policy of increasingly bringing enforcement actions in its administrative forum rather than federal court. We noted that several...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

SEC Seeks To “Overrule” Fifth Circuit Whistleblower Interpretation

In Asadi v. G.E. Energy United States, L.L.C., 720 F.3d 620 (5th Cir. 2013), the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that an employee who reported a suspected Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violation internally but not to the...more

Suit to Enjoin SEC Forum Selection Dismissed

Many have expressed concern regarding the increasing use of administrative proceedings by the SEC. Those concerns range from the fairness of the forum to the impact of its lack of discovery on complex cases to the right to a...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

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

SEC’s Authority to Interpret the Securities Laws Comes Under Fire in Criminal Enforcement

A recent statement by Justice Antonin Scalia accompanying the Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari in a criminal insider trading case raises fundamental questions about how the courts interpret the federal securities laws and...more

Will The Courts Stop Deferring To SEC Interpretations?

In 1984, the U.S. Supreme Court announced a foundational principle of administrative law. When a court reviews an agency’s construction of a statute that it administers, the court should...more

Alberta Securities Commission Applies to SCC for Leave to Appeal Insider Trading Decision in Walton

The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) has applied to the Supreme Court of Canada for leave to appeal the August 2014 decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal (Court) in Walton v Alberta (Securities Commission), 2014 ABCA 723...more

SEC’s Increased Use of Administrative Proceedings Draws Criticism and Legal Challenges

The SEC’s plan to bring more enforcement actions as administrative proceedings before its own administrative law judges rather than in the federal district courts — even in insider trading cases — has been drawing increasing...more

Investment Adviser Challenges Constitutionality of SEC Administrative Proceedings

A registered investment adviser and its principal recently sued the Securities and Exchange Commission for declaratory and injunctive relief to stave off an imminent administrative enforcement action, alleging that the tenure...more

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