DC Circ. Gives New Meaning To 'Willful' In Securities Statutes

Law360 (May 14, 2019, 5:13 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has long taken the view that an actor engages in “willful” conduct under the federal securities laws by simply engaging in a voluntary act, even if the actor did not recklessly or intentionally violate a legal obligation. This view has allowed the SEC to obtain bars and penalties in contested administrative proceedings and in settlements without a showing of recklessness. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s recent decision in The Robare Group v. SEC has now rejected this view.[1]

In Robare, petitioners sought review of the commission’s decision that The Robare Group,...

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