Sarbanes-Oxley

News & Analysis as of

Orrick Technology IPO Insights for Q2 2014

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Orrick Technology IPO Insights, a quarterly publication highlighting trends in U.S. information technology company IPOs. We isolate technology companies in order to analyze and present...more

Voyager II Launches and The FCPA Professor’s New Book

Many readers of this blog will recall that the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is 37 years old this year. Perhaps less might remember that also 37 years ago, NASA launched Voyager II, which was an unmanned spacecraft. ...more

Second Circuit Rejects Extraterritorial Application of Dodd-Frank’s Whistleblower Anti-Retaliation Provision

On August 14, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit became the first U.S. appellate court to weigh in on the extraterritorial application of the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street...more

Second Circuit Holds Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Provision Does Not Apply Extraterritorially

Last week, in Liu v. Siemens, AG, the Second Circuit held that the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower retaliation provision (15 U.S.C. 78u-6(h)(1)) does not apply extraterritorially, in the first Second Circuit decision to...more

Second Circuit Rejects Definitively and Specifically Standard But Upholds Dismissal of SOX Whistleblower Complaint in Nielsen v....

Last week, the Second Circuit upheld a district court’s dismissal of a plaintiff’s Sarbanes-Oxley (“SOX”) whistleblower claim – but not before rejecting the “definitively and specifically” standard on which the district...more

Second Circuit Strays From “Definitively and Specifically” Standard But Still Dismisses SOX Claim

On August 8, 2014, the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a SOX whistleblower retaliation claim brought by a former AECOM Technology Corp. (“Company”) employee, holding that he did not engage in protected activity...more

SEC Charges CEO and Former CFO With Violation of Sarbanes-Oxley

On July 30, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged computer equipment company QSGI Inc’s CEO, Marc Sherman, and former CFO, Edward L. Cummings, for misrepresenting to external auditors and the investing public the...more

Sarbanes-Oxley Casts a Wide Net, Literally

Congress passed Sarbanes-Oxley in 2002 to deal with the accounting scandals that resulted in the downfall of the likes of Enron, Tyco, Worldcom, Arthur Andersen, and others. In its October Term 2014, the Supreme Court will...more

Supreme Court Nets Sarbanes-Oxley Case Involving Fisherman

The U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to hear a case that will determine the fate of a fisherman whose attempt to avoid penalties for catching undersized fish netted him a conviction for violating a law designed to prevent...more

SOX Claim Dismissed: Rejection of IP Assignment Clause Not Protected Activity

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently granted a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss a SOX whistleblower retaliation claim, concluding that the plaintiff did not engage in protected activity. Fuqua...more

SEC Charges Corporate Officers with Fraud Arising from Failure to Disclose Internal Controls Issues and Alleged Misrepresentations...

On July 30, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) advanced a novel theory of fraud against the former CEO (Marc Sherman) and CFO (Edward Cummings) of Quality Services Group, Inc. (“QSGI”), a Florida-based...more

The Supreme Court Extends SOX Whistleblower

On its face, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“SOX”) is concerned with the conduct of publicly-traded, not privately-held, companies. SOX, after all, grew out of the scandalous and widely damaging failures of public companies...more

SEC Gives Itself the Home Court Advantage in an Accounting Fraud / Internal Controls Action Against a Corporate CEO

An otherwise mundane SEC announcement on July 30, 2014 of an enforcement action charging a public company CEO and CFO with accounting fraud and internal controls violations is significant because the SEC is proceeding against...more

Supreme Court Protects Whistleblowing Employees of Mutual Fund Adviser

Whistleblowing law continues to develop, with a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision holding that, despite ambiguous statutory language, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 protects employees of private companies serving as...more

Investment Management Update

In July 2014, the SEC settled the previously reported proceeding involving Chariot Advisors, and its former owner, Elliott Shifman, concerning charges of violating and aiding and abetting the violation of Section 15(c) of the...more

Counsel to the Company: A Framework for Corporate Governance

As a threshold matter, counsel must identify, and remain clear as to, the identity of its client, which may be the company or a subsidiary, the Board or Board committee, or one or more executives. The identity of the client...more

Eleventh Circuit Sustains Award To Employer In Whistleblower Case

In a warning to plaintiffs’ counsel who seek emotional distress damages for alleged whistleblower retaliation under Florida law, the Eleventh Circuit in Smith v. Psychiatric Solutions, Inc., 750 F.3d 1253 (11th Cir. May 6,...more

Fourth Circuit Determines Whistleblower Termination Not Retaliatory Discharge Under Sarbanes-Oxley

The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled recently that an employee’s termination after reporting his company’s potential connection to export violations and insider trading did not amount to a retaliatory discharge...more

Supreme Court Extends SOX Whistleblower Protection to Contractors

The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.” Following a rash of financial calamities largely caused by risky and illegal conduct within publicly traded...more

The Network News

Fraud Index Released-Startling Findings - A survey of more than 1,400 organizations worldwide revealed startling 4th quarter results on fraud trends for 2013. The Fraud Reporting Percentage (FRP), which measures fraud...more

E.D. Pennsylvania Limits Supreme Court’s SOX Whistleblower Decision

In a case of first impression, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled that the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Lawson v. FMR LLC, 134 S. Ct. 1158 (2014)—that the whistleblower protection...more

Ethical Challenges Lawyers Face Under Sarbanes-Oxley

Deciding to report internal misconduct can be difficult for any employee or officer of an organization. For members of the legal profession, however, the decision can easily conflict with their ethical obligations. Lawyers...more

OSHA Orders Company to Pay SOX Whistleblower Back Wages

According to its recent press release, OSHA issued a preliminary order requiring SpongeTech Delivery Systems, Inc. of New York (Company), a cleaning product company, to pay a complainant $31,835.33 in back wages based on its...more

Fourth Circuit Breathes Life into Summary Judgment for Employers Defending SOX Whistleblower Claims

On May 12, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a ruling upholding a grant of summary judgment in favor of the employer in Feldman v. Law Enforcement Assocs. Corp., a Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX)...more

Why Lawyers Should Care about the New COSO Framework

The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) 1992 Internal Control—Integrated Framework has long been recognized as the starting point for designing, implementing and conducting internal...more

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