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    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 07.30.15

    * Who says political foes can’t work together? It’s easy when there’s a ton of money on the line. Newt Gingrich and Howard Dean make their first joint appearance as Dentons employees. [National Law Journal]

    * Have you been paying attention to the SEC? Catch up with is analysis of the 3 major trends of the Mary Jo White era. [Corporate Counsel]

    * Speaking of the SEC are they playing small ball, under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, with the makers of a popular baby formula? [Litigation Daily]

    * Former Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati employee, Dmitry Braverman, was sentenced to two years in jail for insider trading based on information he learned at the firm. [Wall Street Journal]

    * Perkins Coie helps Avvo, an online legal services marketplace, with fundraising to clock in with a $650 million valuation. [Am Law Daily]

    13 Comments / / Jul 30, 2015 at 9:00 AM
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    Federal Government, Finance, Securities and Exchange Commission

    So Who Really Thinks The SEC Is Not Focused On Elder Investors

    If there is any question that the SEC is focused on elder investor issues, look no further than its recent program announcement.

    / Jun 26, 2015 at 4:00 PM
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  • Computer-Car-Hacker

    Crime, Cyberlaw, Securities and Exchange Commission

    You Just Suffered A Cyberattack, Now What

    A recent Investment News article highlighted the pervasive problem associated with cyberattacks and offered some guidance in the event of an attack. Before visiting that guidance, understand how pervasive these attacks are.

    / Jun 11, 2015 at 3:00 PM
  • Elizabeth Warren

    Securities and Exchange Commission, Securities Law

    Liz Warren vs. Mary Jo White: Woman-on-Woman Violence

    One of Liz Warren’s SEC critiques seems weird.

    0 Comments / / Jun 4, 2015 at 12:56 PM
  • Hacker with laptop

    Finance, Technology

    So What Does The SEC Think About Cybersecurity

    At the end of last month, the SEC provided a guidance update on cybersecurity for registered investment companies and registered investment advisors.

    / May 12, 2015 at 10:01 AM
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    Who Needs The SEC Anyway

    At least one New York City official would answer that question in the negative. The city comptroller released a proposal that would require a financial advisor to clearly state whether he or she must act in the investor’s best interests.

    / Apr 2, 2015 at 9:13 AM
  • Mary Jo White

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 02.24.15

    * Mary Jo White’s sizable net worth is causing sizable headaches over at the SEC. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * If you work at a law firm and take way too long to perform simple tasks in Microsoft Word or Excel, shape up: a new test, developed by former in-house lawyer Casey Flaherty, could expose your weaknesses — and lead to your work being discounted. [Capital Business / Washington Post]

    * More from Howard Bashman about the misadventures of Howard Shipley, the Foley & Lardner partner who might get spanked by SCOTUS for a bizarre filing. [How Appealing]

    * An S.D.N.Y. jury held the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization liable for supporting six terrorist attacks and issued a verdict of $218.5 million — an award that will under the law get tripled (collected remains to be seen). [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Wall Street banks and their law firms are getting serious about cybersecurity. [New York Times]

    * Thanks to Emily Kelchen for her review of Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link), which she calls “a true legal thriller.” [Wisconsin Lawyer]

    13 Comments / / Feb 24, 2015 at 9:22 AM
  • Law and money


    SEC Proposes Hedging Disclosures Regarding Directors, Officers and Employees

    The SEC has proposed rules to implement Section 955 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, as codified in Section 14(j) of the Exchange Act, which requires annual meeting proxy statement disclosure of whether employees or members of the board of directors are permitted to engage in transactions to hedge or offset any decrease in the market value of equity securities granted to the employee or board member as compensation, or held directly or indirectly by the employee or board member.

    / Feb 12, 2015 at 3:04 PM
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    SEC Brings Action Against Exchanges Centered on Order Types

    There was a time when orders for securities were straight forward – buy, sell, limit and perhaps a few variations…

    / Jan 15, 2015 at 2:05 AM
  • checklist


    Investment Management Director Offers Top 10 Lessons Learned in 2014

    In a December 10, 2014 speech, Norm Champ, the Director of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management, offered a glimpse at the top 10 industry lessons learned in 2014. While admitting that his Top Ten list “may not be as entertaining as one you would see on Letterman,” Champ said the list provides a view into both how the Division operates and its future goals.

    / Dec 19, 2014 at 9:30 AM
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    Finance, Securities and Exchange Commission

    SEC Charges Eight Audit Firms Charged With Independence Violations

    The broker windows approach of filing groups of actions together which center on common theme is expanding to auditor independence.

    / Dec 11, 2014 at 4:51 PM
  • Judges gavel on wooden table on light background

    In-House Counsel

    New Survey Dispels Common Myths About Arbitration

    Did you know that 87% of experienced arbitrators report *always* trying to follow applicable law in rendering an award? That will come as a surprise to many critics who like to complain that arbitrators do not adhere to established law.

    / Dec 4, 2014 at 10:38 AM
  • Money in the hand


    SEC Scrutiny of Crowdinvesting Sites Not Registered as Broker-Dealers

    On November 10, 2014, the SEC announced a settlement with Eureeca Capital SPC, which is a crowdinvesting portal incorporated in the Cayman Islands. Eureeca’s website seeks to match foreign-based issuers with investors interested in making equity investments. The website provides information about various issuers and their offerings. This information was accessible to U.S. residents, despite the fact that the securities offered through the site were not registered with the SEC. In alleging that Eureeca violated Section 5 of the Securities Act by offering unregistered securities for sale, the SEC noted that Eureeca took no steps to comply with the exemption from registration found in Rule 506(c). Specifically, the SEC alleged that Eureeca took insufficient steps to confirm that the U.S. investors were accredited investors. The SEC also alleged that Eureeca was acting as an unregistered broker-dealer by, among other things, (i) encouraging investments in the offerings on its site, (ii) completing the final legal requirements for the transaction (i.e. accommodating the swap of funds for equity), and (iii) receiving a percentage of the funds from all fully funded offerings as a fee.

    / Nov 19, 2014 at 11:02 AM
  • Law and money


    Financial Services Weekly News Roundup – November 2014

    The Day After: There are still a few undecided races but we know that Republicans will control the House and the Senate in the next session of Congress. This may provide an opportunity for more bipartisan legislation in the financial services area. There is reason to hope that Congress will be able to pass legislation that President Obama will sign that could soften some of the hard edges of the Dodd-Frank Act, such as the effect of regulations intended for large banks on small and regional banks, the application of SIFI rules to insurance companies, the regulation of end-users of derivatives, the broad definition of municipal advisor and the required disclosure of the origin of conflict minerals. In addition, the SEC may now adopt, pare back or drop some proposals that have been on hold, like the crowdfunding rules, amendments to Rule 506 and Form D, and fiduciary standards for brokers. Whatever happens, we’ll be here to cover it.

    / Nov 10, 2014 at 12:56 PM
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    SEC Issues Risk Alert, Smacks E*Trade on Penny Stock Sales

    On October 9th the SEC brought a settled administrative action against E*Trade Securities and G1 Execution Services (formerly E*Trade Capital Markets) for their part in the unregistered sales of billions of shares of penny stocks between 2007 and 2011. Suffice it to say that they weren’t the only ones. On the same day the Commission also (1) released FAQs on a broker-dealer’s duties on when trying to rely on the reasonable inquiry exemption when executing customer orders; and (2) issued a Risk Alert on broker-dealer controls regarding customer sales of penny stocks. The gist is, broker-dealers cannot turn a blind eye when executing its customers’ sales of securities of dubious or uncertain origin. These documents are all part of the SEC’s larger effort to focus on financial system gatekeepers and thereby save staff resources that would otherwise be spent chasing individual bad actors. What’s most interesting to me about the case and accompanying educational materials is how old the underlying principles are. The SEC has been preaching about broker-dealer oversight of little-known securities for literally half a century. And yet here we are.

    / Oct 28, 2014 at 3:14 PM
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    FINRA Again Cautions Against Confidentiality Provisions Silencing Whistleblowers

    As reported this week by Law360 (subscription required), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently issued a reminder (Regulatory Notice 14-40) warning firms against the use of confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements that prohibit or otherwise restrict customers or anyone else (such as current employees) from communicating with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), FINRA, or any federal or state regulatory authority regarding a possible securities law violation.

    / Oct 21, 2014 at 4:35 PM
  • money in the hands

    Securities and Exchange Commission, Wall Street

    The New Era of Money Market Fund Regulation

    On July 23, 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted 3–2 to significantly amend the regulatory framework of money market mutual funds (MMFs), particularly Rule 2a-7 under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the 1940 Act).1 These changes come four years after the SEC last adopted several amendments to Rule 2a-7 and follow a lengthy debate surrounding MMF reform among regulators and industry participants. The amendments and related regulations will drastically alter the MMF industry and force MMFs and their boards of directors and advisers to make substantial changes to their product offerings, operations, and compliance processes.

    / Oct 6, 2014 at 4:31 PM