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This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending November 14, 2014)

Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Thomas indicated that the High Court may at some point consider a question regarding the application of insider trading law in criminal cases and the deference due, if any, to the interpretations of that body of law by the SEC. The statement was appended to the denial...

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending November 21, 2014)

The Commission filed another settled FCPA action this week. The proceeding named two U.S. citizens living abroad as Respondents. The DOJ issued an Opinion discussing successor liability. The DC Circuit agreed to rehear the suit which challenged the SEC’s conflict minerals rules issued under...

This Week in Securities Litigation (December 5, 2014)

The SEC filed a series of actions in the last two weeks which included a break for the Thanksgiving holiday. One action focused on a Swiss investment firm giving advise in the U.S. without registering with the Commission. That case was resolved in a settlement that included admissions of violating the...

This Week In Securities Litigation (December 12, 2014)

The Second Circuit took center stage this week, handing down a decision which reversed the insider trading convictions of two remote tippees. The decision circumscribes tippee liability by defining the elements of a claim and resurrecting the personal benefit test crafted by the Supreme Court in Dirks...

This Week in Securities Litigation (December 19, 2014)

The Commission brought two FCPA cases this week, one of which was in conjunction with the DOJ. Both centered on the payments for gifts and travel in China. In addition, the SEC filed three manipulation cases, an action centered on a boiler room, three offering fraud actions, a proceeding centered...

This Week in Securities Litigation (Holiday Wrap-Up Edition)

Through the holidays (Dec. 19 – 31, 2014) the Department of Justice and the SEC continued to file securities enforcement actions. The Department brought an FCPA case which is now number two on the top ten list for amounts paid to resolve corruption charges. Alstom and certain subsidiaries pleaded...

This Week in Securities Litigation (The Week Ending January 9, 2015)

FCPA enforcement was the focus this first week of the new year. The DOJ brought FCPA and Travel Act charges against an individual alleged to have repeatedly bribed an official of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development to secure contacts for clients by funneling the payments to the sister...

This Week in Securities Litigation (The Week Ending January 16, 2015)

The Commission brought cases related to HFT this week, but not against those traders. One action involved the operations of one of the largest dark pools. A second involved two exchanges. Each action involved specific types of orders which gave advantages to select groups of traders who were familiar...

This Week in Securities Litigation (Week ending January 23, 2015)

The SEC named ratings giant Standard & Poor’s in three actions this week and one of its senior executives in another. The firm settled all three actions, admitting to a series of facts but not violations of the law in one action. The proceeding involving the executive will be set for hearing...

This Week in Securities Litigation (Week ending January 30, 2015)

The SEC settled another action this week based on admissions of fact and that the Federal securities laws were filed, this time involving Oppenheimer. The action was based on the fact that the firm permitted an off-shore and non-U.S. broker to use its account to engaged securities transactions with its...

This Week in Securities Litigation (Week ending February 6, 2015)

The DOJ’s settlement with S&P for $1.4 billion, coupled with admissions of fact, made headlines this week. The settlement was joined by 19 states and the District of Columbia. The DOJ and the states will essentially split the settlement amount. The SEC brought cases this week centered on...

This Week in Securities Litigation (Week ending February 12, 2015)

The Commission resolved its actions against the PRC based affiliates of five major accounting firms for failure to produce audit work papers. The settlement contains a series of procedures designed to facilitate production in the future tied to the MOU the PCAOB previously negotiated with PRC officials...

This Week in Securities Litigation (Week ending February 20, 2015)

The Commission recently filed an amicus brief defending its Dodd-Frank whistleblower rules. Those rules specify that the anti-retaliation provisions of those amendments to the Exchange Act protect those who chose not to report to the Commission but only internally. Yet the definition of whistleblower...

This Week in Securities Litigation (Week ending February 27, 2015)

Four SEC Commissioners addressed the annual SEC Speaks Conference, reviewing recent agency initiatives and tracing potential paths for the future. The SEC also brought another FCPA action, a misappropriation case and an action centered on a failed audit of a broker-dealer that is now defunct. SEC...

This Week in Securities Litigation (Week ending March 6, 2015)

The SEC continued Operation Shell-Expel this week, suspending trading in the shares of 128 OTC issuers bringing its total for the program to about 8% of the shares traded in that market. The Commission also announced another whistleblower award, this time to a former company officer in the amount of...

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending March 13, 2015)

The SEC filed one new action this week – an administrative proceeding involving the principal of an investment adviser and undisclosed conflicts of interest. The Commission also amended a complaint in an insider trading action, adding an additional defendant in a manner which raises issues under...

Life Sciences Companies and Securities Litigation: 2014 Update

Life sciences companies are “an increasingly popular target” of securities class action lawsuits, according to the annual securities litigation survey from the David A. Kotler of the Dechert law firm. According to the March 16, 2015 report, entitled “Dechert Survery of Securities Fraud...

This Week in Securities Litigation (Week ending March 20, 2015)

The broken windows approach to enforcement continued this week. The Commission bundled together eight settled administrative proceedings centered on going private transactions in which the Respondents failed to update their Schedule 13D filings. The agency also brought another Rule 105 action, a father...

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending March 27, 2015)

The Supreme Court handed down the Omnicare decision on Securities Act Section 11 liability for opinion statements this week. In a judgment joined by all nine Justices the Court reversed the Sixth Circuit, concluding that opinion statements in a registration statement are actionable if the opinion is...

This Week in Securities Litigation (Week ending April 3, 2015)

The Second Circuit rejected a petition for rehearing by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Newman case. There the Court reversed and dismissed the insider trading actions against two traders based on the failure of the court to provide the jury with proper instructions on the personal benefit test...

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending April 10, 2015)

The SEC filed another FCPA action, this time against the company that financed a “world tour” as part of the bribes paid by employees to secure business. Previously, the Commission filed an action against the employees. The SEC also filed four actions centered on offering frauds, a case centered...

Are Event Studies in Securities Litigation Reliable?

In its June 2014 opinion in the Halliburton case, the U.S. Supreme Court held that securities lawsuit defendants may introduce evidence at the class certification stage to try to show that the alleged misrepresentation on which the plaintiffs rely did not impact the defendant company’s share price...

This Week in Securities Litigation (Week ending April 17, 2015)

Microcap fraud, misappropriation by investment advisers and offering fraud cases were the focus of SEC enforcement last week. The Commission filed a microcap fraud action centered on blank check companies involving ten individuals. Two new actions focused on misappropriation by investment advisers while...

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending April 24, 2015)

The Department of Justice unsealed criminal charges against a U.K. trader who is alleged to have contributed to the flash crash almost five years ago. The trader is alleged to have manipulated the market for certain instruments on the CME in Chicago. Actions brought by the SEC this week largely reflect...

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending May 1, 2015)

The SEC announced its first whistleblower award in a retaliation case this week. The agency also brought an insider trading case, an action against an investment adviser, its general counsel and auditor based on a conflict, a books and records action against two bank officers and another offering fraud...