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News & Analysis as of

FINRA: Firms Should Not Restrict Whistleblower Rights

Why it matters - In a new regulatory notice, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) reminded regulated firms not to prohibit the exercise of whistleblower rights in settlement agreements with employees and...more

Health Care Providers Responding to Ebola: HHS Issues Guidance Reminding Covered Entities that HIPAA Allows the Sharing of PHI in...

The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) has issued guidance to remind HIPAA-covered entities of the ways in which they are permitted under HIPAA to share protected health information...more

SEC Investment Management Director Speech Focuses on Alternative Mutual Fund Disclosures

On October 29, Norm Champ, the director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management, spoke before the SIFMA Complex Products Forum in New York. In the speech, Mr. Champ discussed SEC staff...more

Let’s Go To The Videotape: Can School Security Videos Be Subject To Disclosure Under FOIA?

School districts usually deny requests to view school video recordings, such as security tapes, in light of concerns about the privacy rights of students featured on these recordings. In a recent decision, the Freedom of...more

Confession: Good for the Soul, but Bad for Business?

A few days ago, your company filed a voluntary disclosure with the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls stating that you violated the ITAR in an export transaction. Your in-house counsel told you that you had to file quickly...more

Voluntary Disclosure: The Continuing Debate

For years (okay 3 years), I have written about the need for DOJ to address its policies surrounding voluntary disclosure. DOJ and the SEC regularly urge companies and FCPA practitioners to disclose FCPA violations to DOJ in...more

Stop and Smell the Trade Secrets, Part II: Two Major Companies Voluntarily Disclose Fragrance Ingredient Information

Do you know which chemical ingredients create that complex smell in your favorite deodorant, cologne, or perfume? For years, the answer has been a resounding no. Historically, the consumer products industry has relied on...more

Terminating an Employee for Not Fully Disclosing His Criminal History in an Application for Employment Did Not Violate the...

In McCorkle v. Schenker Logistics, Inc., 2014 WL 5020598 (M.D. Pa. October 8, 2014), the court held that terminating an employee for not fully disclosing his criminal history, as requested in an employment application, did...more

Recent Developments in Cases Dealing with the False Claims Act’s First-to-File and Public Disclosure Bars

The False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-3733, enables whistleblowers—also known as qui tam relators— to file fraud suits on behalf of the United States against private government contractors. With the assistance of qui tam...more

Gutting the Loss Causation Requirement in Securities Class Actions: 5th Circuit Holds that Insufficient Partial Disclosures May...

Securities class action plaintiffs generally consider the conservative 5th Circuit to be shark infested waters for pursuing federal securities claims, with very rigorous pleading and proof standards imposed with exactness. ...more

Social Media Risk: Forget the Constraints and Open the Employee Conversation

By now, we all have at least one example of how social media can turn into a double-edged sword for organizations. Personal favorites include the SEC’s investigation (and ultimate non-action) regarding Netflix CEO Reed...more

Failure to Disclose Procedures Dooms Arbitration Agreement

As a general rule, courts will uphold agreements that require employees to arbitrate their employment disputes. But an employer seeking to compel arbitration must show that the employee signed a valid written arbitration...more

FINRA Proposes to Revise Implementation Date for Supplemental Inventory Schedule

On October 10, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. proposed a rule change to revise the implementation date for the Supplemental Inventory Schedule (SIS) approved in SR-FINRA-2014-025. The due date for the first...more

Court OKs Revocation of Job Offer Based on Applicant’s Failure to Disclose Criminal History

Earlier this month?, the Middle District of Pennsylvania ruled that the Pennsylvania Criminal History Record Information Act (“CHRIA”) does not prohibit an employer from refusing to hire an applicant based upon the...more

Untimely Disclosure of Witnesses and Evidence in Colorado

A common litigation tactic that lawyers are all too familiar with is the untimely disclosure of witnesses and exhibits on the eve of trial. After months, or even years, of litigation to prepare a case for trial, one party...more

Applicants & Employees Can Refuse to Disclose Expunged Criminal Records Under New Louisiana Law

A new Louisiana law that took effect on August 1 serves to prevent employers from inquiring into an applicant’s or employee’s expunged criminal records. The law does provide for certain exceptions such as where the position...more

When In Doubt, Disclose, Disclose, Disclose

So Joe, who lives and works in Chicago, has decided that he wasn’t getting enough use out of his second home in Scottsdale, located on the 15th fairway of a very challenging golf course, and has, with some regret, put it up...more

DoD's Updated FOIA Program and Exemption 4 Guidance

On September 3, 2014, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued a proposed rule updating its policies and procedures implementing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), including FOIA Exemption 4. FOIA Exemption 4 exempts from...more

Justice Department Opens Up False Claims Files for Criminal Investigation

The Justice Department has a penchant for disclosure – they tell you what they are going to do in advance and then they do it. Companies have tried to claim they were “shocked” or “surprised” by the Justice Department’s...more

Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest - Volume IX, Issue 40

In this issue: - SEC Division of Corporation Finance Issues New C&DI Related to Rule 147 and Website/Social Media Use - Director of SEC Division of Corporation Finance Gives Speech on Securities...more

MD&A Rules Do Not Create Rule 10b-5 Disclosure Obligation

The Ninth Circuit recently examined whether Item 303 of Regulation of S-K, which sets forth the MD&A rules, creates an affirmative duty of disclosure on which to pin a Rule 10b-5 case. The case centered around a significant...more

Tips for Managing and Disclosing Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts of interest arise in any relationship where a duty of care or trust exists between two or more parties. For financial services companies the identification and management of conflicts of interest must be a core...more

Use Of Police Reports By School District In The Aftermath Of The Supreme Court’s Recent Ruling

Police reports are a practical tool for school districts in investigating (and countering) both student and employee misconduct. The Connecticut Supreme Court has resolved an intense debate about what law enforcement...more

Disclosing Merger Negotiations: The Eleventh Circuit Weighs In

Corporate merger negotiations are typically conducted under a veil of secrecy, with public disclosure withheld until the end when a definitive agreement has been signed. The fear is that premature disclosure of preliminary...more

Google Settles With FTC Over In-App Purchases Dispute

Google reached a major settlement with the FTC this month, agreeing to pay $19 million to consumers whose children made purchases through Google Play, an Android-based app store. The agency alleged that Google did not...more

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