Confidential Information

News & Analysis as of

Three Considerations For Drafting A Code of Business Conduct

Although the Securities and Exchange Commission does not require that a company adopt a code of business conduct and ethics, I would be very surprised to hear of an SEC reporting company that has not adopted such a code. ...more

Industrial Espionage and the Defend Trade Secrets Act

American corporations are facing an ever increasing threat of misappropriation of their valuable trade secrets through industrial espionage, defined as the theft of a company’s trade secrets by an actor intending to convert...more

Labor & Employment E-Note - August 2016

In an article published on August 12, 2016 by Advance Healthcare Network, Bryance Metheny provides guidance to employers who need to prepare for the recent changes issued by the Department of Labor ("DOL") to the federal...more

Augmented Reality

If you haven’t heard about newest gaming craze yet, it’s based on what is called “augmented reality” (AR) and it could potentially impinge on your home life and workplace as such games allow users to “photograph” imaginary...more

SDNY Prosecutors Score First Post-Newman Insider Trading Conviction

On August 17, 2016, jurors in a New York federal court convicted Sean Stewart on criminal charges of conspiracy, securities fraud, and tender offer fraud after more than five days of deliberation. Stewart, a former...more

European Banking Authority Consults on Draft Standards for Payment Service Providers

The European Banking Authority published a consultation paper on draft Regulatory Technical Standards specifying the requirements of strong customer authentication and secure communication under the revised Payment Services...more

Special Report: The NLRB’s Complaint Against Bridgewater and What It Means for Investment Managers

Key Points - - The National Labor Relations Board has filed a complaint against Bridgewater Associates, challenging contractual provisions of a type that are commonplace at hedge funds and private equity firms. ...more

What, If Anything, Impedes The SEC’s Whistleblower Rule?

As I suspected, law firms are churning out memoranda on the SEC’s recent enforcement actions involving alleged impediments to whistleblowers. While accurately, summarizing these actions, I’m not sure that some of the authors...more

August 2016: Seizures as a Remedy Under the New Federal Trade Secrets Act

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), creating a new federal cause of action for the misappropriation of trade secrets. Prior to the DTSA, trade secret claims were governed by state law....more

The Science Behind Expert Disqualification

Basic Test - Why stop at excluding expert testimony when you can exclude the expert? For years, expert witness conflicts doctrine has been developed through the federal common law. Although appellate courts have been...more

SEC Enforcement Actions May Require Changes to Severance Agreements

Public companies should revisit their template severance agreements, in light of two recent orders by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Standard severance clauses covering (1) confidential information and (2)...more

Your daily dose of financial news - The Brief – 8.18.16

A SDNY jury has found former JPMorgan banker Sean Stewart guilty of insider trading based on allegations that Stewart was leaking confidential information about health care company mergers to his dad....more

SEC Continues Crackdown on Whistleblower Restrictions: Calls Qui Tam Waivers "Targeting"

The SEC announced its second enforcement action in a week against a company using severance or confidentiality agreements requiring employees to waive whistleblower bounties or their right to bring a qui tam action....more

SEC Fines Companies for Anti-Whistleblower Language in Severance Agreements

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced the settlement of two proceedings regarding the SEC’s whistleblower protection framework, resulting in over $500,000 in penalties. Both of the companies were charged...more

SEC Settlements Put Severance Agreements Under Increased Scrutiny

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced settlements with two companies for using severance agreements that allegedly violated Rule 21F-17. Rule 21F-17 provides that “[n]o person may take any action...more

FEATURE: Proper Use of Confidential Information Provisions

One of the significant pitfalls businesses encounter is the misuse of confidentiality provisions in company policies and employment agreements. Nearly all employers include restrictive covenants prohibiting the use or...more

ICO Responds to the ePrivacy Directive Consultation

In April, we reported that the European Commission had opened a public consultation seeking the views of various stakeholders on the current wording of, and possible changes to, the Privacy and Electronic Communications...more

SEC Settles Charges for Violation of Whistleblower Program’s Prohibition of Impediments to Communications Regarding Possible...

On August 10, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a settlement with BlueLinx Holdings Inc. concerning alleged violations of the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program’s prohibition on impeding whistleblower...more

SEC Fines Company for Agreements Restricting Whistleblowers

The SEC has fined an Atlanta company $265,000 for using various severance agreements restricting whistleblower activities. The Dodd-Frank Act added ’34 Act § 21F encouraging whistleblower programs....more

PHMSA Looks to Stakeholders to Complete Crude-by-Rail Response Plan Rule

The Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) recently issued a proposed rule that aims to expand oil spill response plan (OSRP) requirements for railroads transporting oil. Stakeholders have already...more

3 Severance Agreement Time-bombs

Last week the SEC entered a cease and desist agreement with BlueLinx Holdings, fining the company $265,000.00 for including unlawful confidentiality and waiver provisions in its severance agreements. BlueLinx used a variety...more

The Lawyers' Lawyer Newsletter - Recent Developments in Risk Management - August 2016

Joint Clients — Confidentiality — Right to See Clients' File - New York State Bar Association Committee on Professional Ethics Opinion 1070 (10/9/15) - Risk Management Issue: In a joint client representation, if one...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The D.C. Circuit handed down the first circuit court decision ruling on the Appointments Clause question concerning the retention of SEC ALJs. The court concluded that there was no violation of the Clause....more

Review Severance Agreements For Unlawful Anti-Whistleblower Provisions

On Wednesday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) settled with Atlanta-based BlueLinx Holdings over claims that the publicly traded building products distributor’s severance agreements stifle protected...more

SEC Bounty Hunters Take Heart: SEC Fines Company $265,000 for Using Severance Agreements That Provided a Waiver of any Monetary...

Wednesday, the SEC announced that an Atlanta-based company, BlueLinx Holdings, is settling charges that its severance agreements contained provisions that in its view might impede employees from communicating directly with...more

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