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First SEC Whistleblower Award To Former Company Officer

On March 2, 2015, the SEC announced an expected award of $475,000 to $575,000 to a former company officer “who reported original, high-quality information about a securities fraud that resulted in an SEC enforcement action...more

The SEC Will Be Your Employment Law Agency, Too

The nature of the SEC’s business a regulator of public companies lends a certain expansive aspect to its jurisdiction. That is, when your job as a government agency is to be sure public companies are making complete and...more

"Aggressive SEC Enforcement Approach Creates New Challenges for Resolving Investigations"

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pursued aggressive enforcement of the securities laws in the past year. Several trends related to the SEC's vigorous approach are likely to continue in 2015....more

Court Rules That Outing a Whistleblower Constitutes Retaliation

When whistleblowers intend to remain in their company after alerting authorities to wrongdoing, it is imperative that they are able to maintain their privacy so that they would not be the victims of retaliation by other...more

SEC Finds Loan to Investment Adviser’s CEO a Conflict of Interest

Consulting Services Group, LLC, or CSG, was a registered investment adviser whose business included providing consulting services to public pension funds. These consulting services included recommending third-party investment...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

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

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

Safeguarding a Whistleblower’s Identity

Everyone knows that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act prohibits retaliation against whistleblowers. It may be less obvious, however, that merely disclosing a whistleblower’s identity can constitute prohibited retaliation. Nevertheless,...more

5th Circuit: Outing Whistleblower Equals Adverse Action

On November 12, 2014, in Halliburton, Inc. v. Admin. Review Bd., 5th Cir. No. 13-cv-60323, the Fifth Circuit affirmed an ARB’s decision that disclosing the identity of a whistleblower may constitute an “adverse action” under...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

Lights Out for a 401(k) Investment Fund? Don't Forget the Blackout Notice Rules.

One of your company’s 401(k) investment fund options is underperforming. Or, perhaps the fund is no longer appropriate for your employees. Or, perhaps a fund’s wildly successful fund manager has jumped ship to another fund...more

Does SEC Gain an Advantage Bringing Insider Trading Cases in Home Court?

Following the loss of two high-profile insider trading cases, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) is hoping to improve its chances in future actions by taking advantage of expanded administrative powers under the...more

Did the Summer Shine any Light on Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Land?

The summer saw a significant new development in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) whistleblower bounty program but failed to see any development on obtaining clarification as to the reach of the Dodd-Frank...more

SEC Brings Another Bond Case Against A State

The SEC’s nationwide review of municipal bond disclosures yielded another enforcement action, this time against the state of Kanas. The Order centers on claims that the state failed to disclose its huge unfunded pension...more

OSHA Releases Interim Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Regulations

OSHA recently released the interim final text of regulations implementing the whistleblower protection provision (Section 1057) in Dodd-Frank. The interim final regulations establish the timing and processes for handling...more

SOX Un-Boxed

Prepare for DOL whistleblower litigation. The Supreme Court has ruled on the scope of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act whistleblower provision. According to SCOTUS, SOX allows any employee to bring a whistleblower complaint, so long...more

On a “Clear and Convincing Day”: The Administrative Review Board Gives Employers Some Helpful Guidance

As we have discussed in earlier posts, the Administrative Review Board (ARB) has, over the last couple of years, issued a number of opinions signaling a decidedly employee-friendly interpretation of the whistleblower statutes...more

SEC Adopts Final Rules for Municipal Advisors

The SEC issued final rules requiring the registration of municipal advisors in SEC Release No. 34-70462 (the “Release”). The rules implement Section 975 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which amended Section 15B of the Securities...more

CII Submits Rule 10b5-1 Rulemaking Petition to the SEC

On November 28 the Council of Institutional Investors (CII), an association of public, corporate and union pension funds and other employee benefit plans, submitted a letter to Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman...more

Hidden Due Diligence Risk In Mergers, Acquisitions And Investments: Independent Contractor Misclassification Oftentimes Overlooked...

Many due diligence reviews in mergers, acquisitions and investments have ignored the issue of independent contractor (IC) misclassification liability. This is a difficult exposure to identify unless the legal team digs below...more

Annual Notices for ISOs and ESPPs due January 31, 2013

Each January, companies that grant incentive stock options (ISOs) are required to provide notices to current and former employees who exercised ISOs during the preceding calendar year. Similar notices must be given to current...more

Department of Labor Proposed Amendment to Underwriter Exemption

On December 28, 2012, the Department of Labor published a proposed amendment to the definition of the term “Rating Agency” under Section III.X of the individual Prohibited Transaction Exemptions (otherwise known as the...more

Executive Compensation and Corporate and Securities Alert: UPDATED-NYSE and Nasdaq Propose Rules Relating to Compensation...

This summary has been updated to reflect the amendment to the Nasdaq Proposed Rules now referenced in the third paragraph of the Overview below. Overview - On June 20, 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission...more

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