News & Analysis as of

Regulators make whistleblowing rules

FCA and PRA have published their feedback, rules and policy documents on whistleblowing. The rules complement the senior manager regime (SMR) and reforms of remuneration rules. The new rules affect...more

New DOJ Corporate Prosecution Guidelines

On September 9, 2015, United States Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates released a memorandum titled “Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing,” the latest in a series of corporate prosecution guidelines written by...more

SEC ALJ Slams Bebo; Summarily Denies ConLaw Challenge

Laurie Bebo, CEO of Assisted Living Concepts, initially got some sympathetic words from the U.S. District Judge who felt constrained to turn away her constitutional challenge to the SEC’s administrative forum: The Court...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The PCAOB filed a settled action involving an auditing firm in which the consent order of settlement was based on admissions of facts. The approach is similar to the one adopted by the SEC in which the Commission requires...more

Twitter Ordered by Irish Court to Disclose Information about Author of Tweet

Twitter International Company (TIC) in Dublin, Ireland was reportedly ordered by a High Court to disclose data about the source of tweets about a whistleblower. The tweets, which included allegations of insurance fraud, are...more

HR Influence in Disciplinary Proceedings Can Render Dismissals Unfair

In Ramphal v Department for Transport (EAT – 2015), the EAT has provided guidance on the appropriate level of HR involvement in disciplinary proceedings. The case concerns an employee who was dismissed for gross...more

Delaware's One-Two Punch to M&A Litigation Disrupts the Cozy Status Quo of M&A Deal Settlements

Over the summer, Delaware in two separate and impactful decisions hit out at many, if not most, shareholder litigation suits challenging public company M&A suits. The result: uncertainty ahead. The customary rhythm in an...more

Discovery Rules Continue to Evolve for Cases Involving Social Media

Your social media content is not only susceptible to hacking; it’s also susceptible to disclosure requests from civil litigants (see our Sept. 14 blog post for more details) and even prosecutors without your consent if they...more

SEC Issues Second Round of Municipal Disclosure Settlements

On September 30, the SEC issued its second round of mass settled actions over municipal securities disclosure issues, as part of its Municipal Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (“MCDC”) Initiative. In this round, 22 municipal...more

Phantom Injury Dooms “Shadow Insurance” Case

A recent federal district court decision dismissing a putative class action complaint against AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company may portend trouble for plaintiffs pursuing a number of similar so-called "shadow insurance"...more

D.C. Circuit Reinforces Attorney-Client Privilege Applicable to Internal Investigations

On August 11, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the District Court of Columbia issued a decision of importance to all companies that seek to maintain privilege with respect to internal investigations. The D.C....more

In re Riverbed: The Beginning of the End for Disclosure-Only Settlements in M&A Cases?

The past decade has seen an incredible rise in M&A litigation. According to Cornerstone, in 2014, a whopping 93% of announced mergers valued over $100 million were subject to litigation, up from 44% in 2007. As Delaware...more

Disclosure-Only Settlements Face Continued Scrutiny In Delaware

On Thursday, September 17, 2015, in In re Riverbed Technology, Inc. Stockholders Litigation, the Delaware Chancery approved a disclosure-only settlement related to the go-private deal for Riverbed Technology, Inc. Although...more

Second Circuit Decision May Have Significant Implications for Whistleblowers and Their Employers

On September 10, 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision with significant implications for purported whistleblowers and their employers—Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC, WPP Group USA, Inc., No. 14-4626...more

9th Circuit Holds No Private Right of Action for Data Retention Violation Under the Video Privacy Protection Act

The decision further aligns the circuit courts in holding that the private right of action is limited to the Act’s prohibition on unauthorized disclosures only. A recent attempt to expand the breadth of the private right...more

CFPB use of behavioral economics validated by Executive Order

Since opening its doors for business, behavioral economics has played a central role in the CFPB’s regulatory agenda. Behavioral economists posit that consumers are not rational decision makers and instead have certain...more

Can You Keep a Secret?

Most real estate deals begin with a letter of intent defining the principal terms of the deal, the only enforceable paragraph of which is an agreement to keep the transaction strictly confidential. Prior to the start of due...more

OFCCP Publishes Final Rule on Pay Transparency

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has published a final rule implementing President Obama's executive order prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against employees for discussing or...more

The Case for a Better Gifts & Entertainment Compliance Program - Part Two: An Effective G&E Program

Previously we covered setting the foundation for a better G&E compliance program. In the second piece of The Case for a Better Gifts & Entertainment Compliance Program, we’ll look at the key components to having an effective...more

PAC Opinion Finds Municipal Bank Account Numbers Subject to FOIA

Earlier this year, the Public Access Counselor (PAC) issued an under-the-radar advisory opinion that could have an impact on responses to Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. According to the non-binding...more

Statute Permits Domestic Discovery for Foreign Opposition Proceedings - Akebia Therapeutics, Inc. v. FibroGen, Inc.

With ample citation to Supreme Court precedent, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the use of 28 U.S.C. § 1782 to conduct domestic discovery in aid of foreign opposition proceedings at the European and...more

Inline Plastics Corp. v. EasyPak, LLC (Fed. Cir. 2015) - Claim Terms Not Limited to Specific Embodiment

In Inline Plastics Corp. v. EasyPak, LLC, the Federal Circuit offered some bits of wisdom for patent application specification drafting, while applying well-known case law to conclude that claims are not limited to a specific...more

Ask But Don’t Tell: Kentucky Allows Defendant to Seek Ex Parte Interviews of Plaintiff’s Treating Physicians

We walked into the Drug and Device Law Rock Climber’s room last night to find her packing for her return to college while the ignored TV blared in the background. Onscreen was a popular cable reality franchise involving...more

Real Estate News - August 2015

Coming Soon… New Closing (no, Consummation…) Rules! Now Starting October 3, 2015 Instead of August 1, 2015 - What?! We can’t call it a closing anymore? Under new federal regulations regarding the Truth in Lending Act...more

Court Examines Disclosure Duties in Consent Solicitaion Removing Directors

In Kerbawy v. McDonnell, the Delaware Court of Chancery affirmed the validity of a solicitation of written consents that removed certain directors and appointed new directors. A key theme of the opinion is that stockholders...more

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