Last week, Netflix announced that it received a Wells notice from the SEC. Apparently, while the SEC was cruising Facebook (what else is there to do while neglecting to investigate Wall Street?), someone noticed Netflix CEO Reed Hastings posting that Netflix had surpassed one billion hours of streaming old episodes of Facts of Life to shut ins.
The SEC staff thinks Hastings disclosed material information in this Facebook post, possibly violating Reg FD, the 2000 regulation that put a stop to companies giving an advantage to small subsets of investors by disclosing material information between blowing rails of coke off strippers.
But Facebook isn’t a seedy strip club full of free drugs and prostitutes (read: Christian Mingle). Reed Hastings has over 200,000 “fans,” many of whom are analysts and reporters. In pursuing enforcement without exercising a little discretion, the SEC ignores these facts.
Netflix is arguing that the disclosure was not material and that most investors knew that the CEO’s Facebook page is recognized as an avenue for public disclosure.
Regardless of the specific resolution of this matter, this is one more reminder that the SEC is woefully behind when it comes to adapting to technological developments. Like, oh I don’t know, HFT perhaps?
* In the 7th grade, we abided by the “one best friend” law, so we could totally pledge our loyalty to just one dog who also definitely wouldn’t steal our boyfriend. [New York Times]
* German Chancellor Angela Merkel admits to an incident of youthful “corruption,” but would you have rather she bartered sexual favors for her driver’s license? We’re letting this slide too. [The Times]
* We hear freshmen housed in state school dorms are joining the lawsuit. [Los Angeles Times]
* Since all of my disposable income after rent, I-Pod upgrades and therapy goes to clothes, I for one can say that status is one of the more noble causes a person can embrace. I mean, honestly, without fashion, 90% of third world kids would be unemployed. [University of Chicago Law School Faculty Blog]
* Honor among greedy bastards: Corporate greedy bastards deserve their obscene paychecks, says greedy bastard M&A lawyer Martin Lipton. [Reuters]
[Ed. note: Please note that this post is signed by Stella Q. Some of us were very happy to receive obscene paychecks courtesy of Mr. Lipton. (And if Wachtell Lipton's midyear bonuses are any indication, year-end bonuses at the firm will be especially obscene this year.)]
* “Surfing champion Sunny Garcia… looked gloomy as the sentence was handed down.” Nice. [CNN]
* Justice O’Connor sat by designation on the Ninth Circuit this week. She must have had so much fun the last time she flipped a coin in California , she’s back for more. [San Jose Mercury-News]
* Another swing justice in NoCal. Justice Kennedy: “[T]he verdict on democracy is still out.” Didn’t he give this speech somewhere before? [San Francisco Chronicle]
* “The only thing missing from [Wednesday's] three-judge Third Circuit oral argument panel was any judge from the the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.” [How Appealing]
* Busy bees at the SEC: Civil securities-fraud suits against former execs of Delphi Corp. are expected soon. [Wall Street Journal via WSJ Law Blog]
* Poor Dick Grasso. The former New York Stock Exchange chairman must return about $100 million of his $139.5 million payout. [New York Times]
* A federal judge has ordered that Vice President Dick Cheney’s visitor logs be opened. There’s at least one name that won’t be on there. [Associated Press]
* Justice Department lawyers have lost their Federal Circuit appeal in their long-running class action suit for overtime pay. Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be DOJ attorneys. [Washington Post]
* The Ninth Circuit has ruled against a freelance journalist and blogger who refused to testify to a grand jury or turn over video footage he took of a violent protest at last summer’s G8 summit. The journalist, Josh Wolf, will seek an en banc rehearing. [New York Times]
* The latest news in Spitzer v. Grasso: Dick Grasso’s looking for a new judge, baby, a new judge. Eliot Spitzer is looking for a way to make his eyes look less beady. [Wall Street Journal via WSJ Law Blog]
* The fellow we mentioned yesterday, who had sex with his 14-year-old sister, has lost his suit to keep his identity off Virginia’s online sex offender registry. [Washington Post via How Appealing]
* Not directly related to the law, but interesting: Harvard University is ending its early admissions program next year. (And it has an indirect connection to the law, insofar as it might affect the educational paths of future lawyers.) [Wall Street Journal]
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
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The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
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