Securities Civil Remedies Administrative Agency

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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

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

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Document Preservation Notices Can Lead to SOX Violation!

On November 12, 2014, the Fifth Circuit affirmed a Department of Labor finding that Halliburton retaliated against a whistleblower by including his name in a document preservation notice. The court also held that emotional...more

Revealing Whistleblower’s Identity is Retaliation

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that revealing a whistleblower’s identity is prohibited retaliation under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in Halliburton, Inc. v. Administrative Review Board, United States...more

SEC Brings Its Sixth Insider Trading Action As An Administrative Proceeding Since September

The SEC is clearly bringing more cases as administrative proceedings. To be sure, many of its “broken windows” actions are brought in that forum. At the same time, it is brining other cases which are traditionally brought as...more

SEC Files Another Insider Trading Case As An Administrative Action

The SEC continued what appears to be a growing trend of bringing insider trading cases as administrative proceedings. Since the beginning of September the Commission has filed at least four insider trading actions as...more

SEC Announces Record Number of Enforcement Actions in FY 2014

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission provided a summary of its enforcement activities for its fiscal year 2014 (ending in September). The SEC announced that it brought a record 755 enforcement actions and...more

SEC Sanctions Athena in First High-Frequency Trading Manipulation Case

On October 16, in a groundbreaking trading manipulation case, the Securities and Exchange Commission entered an Order instituting a settled administrative proceeding against high-frequency trading firm Athena Capital...more

SEC Faces New Constitutional Challenge to Administrative Proceedings Based on Tenure Protection of Administrative Law Judges

In a complaint filed recently in the Southern District of New York, an activist investor and his investment advisor company have gone on the offensive against the SEC. Joseph Stillwell and Stillwell Value LLC filed a...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

As the government fiscal year drew to a close, the SEC continued what appears to be an emerging trend of filing insider trading actions as administrative proceedings rather than civil injunctive actions in Federal Court. The...more

SEC’s Broken Window Enforcement Program Gets a Boost from “Quantitative Analytics” and “Algorithms”

The SEC announced last week that it had charged, in settled administrative proceedings, 28 individuals and investment firms that failed to “promptly report information about their holdings and transactions in company stock”...more

SEC Staff Grants Relief for Adjustment to Mutual Fund Subadvisory Fee Without Shareholder Approval

The staff of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management (the “Staff”) granted no-action relief for the implementation of an adjustment in the fee paid by a mutual fund’s adviser to the fund’s subadviser, without shareholder...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

In the roll-up to the Labor Day weekend, the SEC issued new rules regarding asset backed securities and credit rating agencies. The Commission also announced a new pilot program on tick size....more

SEC Commissioner Objects to Retroactive Application of Dodd-Frank Bars

Commissioner Gallagher recently filed this opinion dissenting in part with respect to In the Matter of John W. Lawton. The matter arose out of the alleged misconduct of respondent John W. Lawton, who purportedly committed...more

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Prevails in the Second Circuit in Defending Its No-Admission Settlement Policy

The long legal battle over the SEC’s neither-admit-nor-deny settlement policy has finally come to an end. On June 4, 2014, the Second Circuit issued an opinion vacating the district court’s rejection of a proposed consent...more

Second Circuit Reverses SDNY In SEC-Citigroup Settlement Case

On June 4, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated and remanded a November 28, 2011 order from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York refusing to approve a...more

Second Circuit’s Citigroup Decision Protects SEC’s Discretion in Settling Enforcement Cases

Wednesday’s decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the Citigroup case is significant because it clarifies the standards for judicial review of consent decrees in SEC enforcement proceedings and...more

Second Circuit Says Pragmatism Trumps “Cold, Hard” Facts, Limits District Courts’ Powers in Reviewing SEC Settlements

Summer is coming, but this is probably not the vacation Southern District of New York Judge Jed Rakoff had in mind. On June 4, 2014, the Second Circuit vacated Judge Rakoff’s order refusing to approve the SEC’s $285 million...more

Trials Are About Truth; Consent Decrees Are About Pragmatism

I recently wrote about Judge Rakoff’s refusal to enter the SEC’s proposed consent decree in SEC v. Citigroup Global Markets, Inc., 827 F. Supp. 2d 328 (SDNY 2011) – and the shift in SEC enforcement policy that it prompted. ...more

Judge Rakoff Reversed by Second Circuit on SEC-Citi case, Still Sort of Wins

You’d be forgiven if you’d forgotten at this point, but way back in Obama’s first term, the SEC once investigated and sued Citigroup for its involvement in a collateralized debt obligation deal. As the SEC said in its...more

Consent Decrees, the District Court and the SEC: The Citigroup Decision

The Second Circuit handed down its long awaited opinion in SEC v. Citigroup Global Markets, Inc., Nos. 11-5227-cv, 11-5375-cv and 11-5242-cv (2nd Cir. June 4, 2014). The decision arises out of the refusal of the District...more

SEC Annual Report: Thousands of Tips, One Award & Minimal Transparency

In its Annual Report on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program (Report), the SEC has revealed that it has received 3,001 tips during its 2012 fiscal year (the first year of this program), and it paid out its first award to a...more

SEC Releases Whistleblower Program’s 2012 Annual Report

On November 15, 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or the “Commission”) released its Annual Report on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program (the “Report”). The Report – which was prepared by the Commission’s...more

Shoot First and Ask Questions Later: Financial Regulators’ Use of Their Emergency Enforcement Powers

Originally published in the November/December 2012 issue of the Financial Fraud Law Report. In the era of “real-time enforcement,” financial regulators repeatedly preach the importance of bringing an alleged malfeasor...more

SEC Releases First Full-Year Report on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program: No Speedy Recoveries for Whistleblowers

On November 15, 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission released its Fiscal Year 2012 Annual Report on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program (the “Report”), the first full-year report issued since the enactment of...more

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