Securities Civil Rights

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Final Diversity and Inclusion Standards Issued Jointly by Six Federal Agencies

Pursuant to a mandate contained in Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank or Act), six federal agencies jointly issued new Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Standards today. These...more

Whistleblowers – Tracking Ups and Downs

One of many things about life – just when you think you know something, it turns out you do not. Or another trite way to say the same thing – Life is full of surprises. The evolution in the treatment and legal...more

SEC Gives Maximum Award in First Whistleblower Retaliation Case

On April 28, 2015, the SEC announced that it awarded a whistleblower the maximum award of 30 percent of the amounts collected in connection with the SEC’s first anti-retaliation case. The whistleblower received more than...more

Sixth Circuit Rejects “Definitively, Specifically” Standard for SarbOx Whistleblower Claims

The Sixth Circuit this week rejected the “definitively and specifically” standard that had required a Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower’s “reasonable belief” to closely track each element of the legal cause of action for the fraud...more

Economic Downturn Week, Part II – The Golden Gate Bridge and Employment Separation – Hotlines and Whistleblowers During Layoffs

I use the Golden Gate Bridge as an entrée to my continued discussion on the series on steps that you can use in your compliance program if you find yourself, your company or your industry in an economic downturn. Whether you...more

Expanded Whistleblower Protections Impact Confidentiality Policies and Agreements

All employers should review their confidentiality policies and agreements to ensure adequate protections for whistleblowers in the wake of recent actions by both the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the National...more

The Recent SEC Attack on Confidentiality Agreements: What Employers Need To Know and Do Now

Introduction - • Employers typically impose confidentiality restrictions to protect trade secrets and confidential information, including when conducting internal investigations and in employee separation...more

Whistle While You Work: SEC Announces First Retaliation Whistleblower Award

On June 16, 2014, the SEC issued its first-ever charge of whistleblower retaliation under section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Act, charging a hedge fund advisor and its owner with “engaging in prohibited principal transactions and...more

Senn Interview, Part II – A Discussion of the Decision to Self-Disclosure

In today’s post, I continue to explore my recent interview of Mara Senn, a partner at Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington DC. Senn is a white-collar practitioner who whose practice includes representing companies in...more

Has the SEC Become the "Whistleblower’s Advocate"?

The SEC Chair discusses the whistleblower program’s achievements and importance and how the agency will fight to ensure that whistleblowers continue to be heard....more

CFTC Whistleblower Awards On The Horizon

In a recent interview with Law360 (subscription required), Chris Ehrman, the Director of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Whistleblower Office, predicted that the number and size of the CFTC’s whistleblower...more

Dodd-Frank of the North? Incentive-Based Whistleblower Program Coming to Canada

It will be of significant interest to US corporations that make securities filings with the Ontario Securities Commissions (“OSC”), that on February 3, 2015, the OSC published “Staff Consultation Paper 15-401”, which sets out...more

WSJ Report On Delayed SEC Whistleblower Bounty Awards

A Wall Street Journal article (subscription required) dated May 4, 2015 reports that a backlog of tips received by the SEC Office of the Whistleblower as part of its bounty program has resulted in a delay in paying awards to...more

Das Gesetz zur Quote tritt in Kraft

Nach der auch öffentlich lebhaft geführten Debatte um die Quote und der Vielzahl an Änderungen und Modifikationen im Rahmen des Gesetzgebungsverfahrens ist der finale Gesetzestext nunmehr in Kraft getreten. Viele Unternehmen...more

The Cost of Buying Silence – Non-disclosure Provisions Run Afoul of Federal Agencies

There’s an inherent tension in requiring an employee to sign an agreement restricting his or her ability to discuss activity in the workplace. On one hand, employers with confidential business practices and trade secrets need...more

Bridging the Week - May 2015

CME Group Summarily Suspends Trading Privileges of Two Traders Without Hearing for Alleged Spoofing and Non-Cooperation - Less than two weeks after civil and criminal charges were filed by the Commodity Futures Trading...more

SEC Announces a Maximum Whistleblower Award to an Employee Who Faced Employment Retaliation as a Consequence of Reporting...

In June of last year, Paradigm Capital Management agreed to pay the SEC nearly $2 million to settle allegations that it violated the Dodd-Frank Act’s conflict-of-interest rules and unlawfully retaliated against the...more

A Compilation of Enforcement and Non-Enforcement Actions

The SEC announced that a compliance professional has been awarded $1.4 million to $1.6 million for reporting misconduct inside his firm to the SEC. The SEC recently noted that it has paid $50 million to 17 whistleblowers, out...more

Court Offers Good Privilege News for Draft Form 10-K Filings

Courts disagree about the attorney-client privilege protection's applicability to draft documents whose final version will be publicly disclosed. Public companies naturally worry about this issue's impact on their draft...more

King Arthur Week – The Green Knight and the Protection of Whistleblowers – Part IV

We continue our King Arthur themed week with an exploration of one of the most interesting characters in the Arthur canon, The Green Knight, so called because his skin and clothes are green. The meaning of his greenness has...more

SEC Grants Compliance Officer $1.4 to $1.6 Million Whistleblower Award

On April 22, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it is awarding a compliance officer between $1.4 million and $1.6 million for voluntarily providing the SEC with information that contributed to a successful...more

SEC Makes Whistleblower Award in Connection With Retaliation Case

The SEC announced a maximum whistleblower award payment of 30 percent of amounts collected in connection with In the Matter of Paradigm Capital Management, Inc. and Candace King Weir, File No. 3-15930 (June 16, 2014), the...more

SEC Announces Whistleblower Award to Compliance Officer, Over $1 Million Dollars

On April 22, the SEC announced an award of more than $1 million to a compliance officer for providing the agency with information on the company’s misconduct. The Dodd-Frank Act whistleblower regime is designed to encourage...more

SEC Joins Agency Attack on Confidentiality Clauses in Employee-Related Agreements and Policies

In a recent enforcement action, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took action against a company for "using improperly restrictive language in confidentiality agreements with the potential to stifle the...more

King Arthur Week – The Round Table and Compliance Professionals and Lawyers as Whistleblowers – Part III

Today we use King Arthur’s Round Table as the entry into our topic. The Round Table is the famous table around which he and his Knights congregated. Its shape implies that everyone who sits there has equal status. Wace, who...more

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