A U.S. Supreme Court ruling Wednesday narrowing the scope of anti-retaliation protections for corporate whistleblowers could lead to a significant increase in the number of complaints filed directly with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, a result companies may find costly, legal experts said.
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Analysis

Companies May Find High Court Whistleblower Ruling Costly

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling Wednesday narrowing the scope of anti-retaliation protections for corporate whistleblowers could lead to a significant increase in the number of complaints filed directly with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, a result companies may find costly, legal experts said. Read more »

Supreme Court Narrows Definition Of Whistleblower

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled in favor of a narrow definition of the term "whistleblower," a decision that will significantly limit the scope of anti-retaliation measures meant to protect whistleblowers under the Dodd-Frank Act. Read more »

Libor Manipulation By 16 Banks Sank Doral, FDIC Alleges

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation alleged that 16 global banks collectively manipulated the benchmark London Interbank Offered Rate, accelerating the collapse of Puerto Rico’s Doral Bank, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in New York federal court. Read more »

CEO Accused Of Tipping Ex-MLB Player Gets 2nd Mistrial

A California federal jury deadlocked Wednesday in the retrial of a former medical device company CEO on charges connected to an alleged insider trading scheme that resulted in last year’s conviction of former Major League Baseball player Doug DeCinces, prompting the judge to declare another mistrial. Read more »

Bitfunder Boss Charged With Lying About $70M Bitcoin Heist

Alternative currency purveyor Jon E. Montroll lied to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission after hackers stole 6,000 bitcoins, today worth nearly $70 million, from his WeExchange and Bitfunder.com businesses in 2013, according to criminal charges unsealed Wednesday in Manhattan federal court. Read more »

7th Circ. Won't Revive Ex-Chicago Exchange Atty's Firing Suit

The Seventh Circuit on Tuesday affirmed the dismissal of a suit against the Chicago Stock Exchange by a compliance lawyer who claims he was fired after reporting possibly illegal behavior, saying he didn't connect the dots between his firing, his internal report and his claimed Dodd-Frank protection. Read more »

POLICY & REGULATION

New SEC Cybersecurity Guidance Dinged By Dems As Rehash

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday issued new guidance to public companies on how they should disclose their cybersecurity risks, but the effort was faulted by the agency’s Democratic commissioners, who said the SEC essentially reissued old advice without providing much new. Read more »

CIVIL ENFORCEMENT

Duo Settles With SEC For Selling Outlandish Patent Stocks

Two Florida men facing fraud charges settled a related case with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday, agreeing to be barred from penny stock offerings and securities trading to resolve civil claims that they pilfered $2.5 million selling penny stocks based on dubious nanotechnology patents. Read more »

WHITE COLLAR

Lifetime Fitness Exec Cops To Insider Trading Scheme Role

A former Lifetime Fitness executive accused of tipping friends about the gym chain’s planned private equity buyout in exchange for a cut of trading profits pled guilty on Wednesday to a count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud he faced over the scheme. Read more »

NJ Trader Faces New Charges In Market Manipulation Case

A New Jersey-based trader was hit with additional charges Wednesday over an alleged market manipulation scheme that raked in millions over a two-year period, according to authorities. Read more »

DELAWARE

Investor Counsel Sanctioned For ExamWorks Suit Delays

Citing document delivery failures that in some cases were “degrading to the litigation process,” a Delaware vice chancellor on Wednesday sanctioned attorneys for funds pursuing a consolidated appraisal suit targeting ExamWorks’ $2.2 billion go-private sale. Read more »

SWS Investor Says Chancery Appeal Gave Heft To Bad Math

Attorneys for shareholders of financial services firm SWS Group Inc. told a panel of the Delaware Supreme Court that a lower court decision significantly lowering the fair value of company shares in an appraisal action was flawed because it didn’t consider an increase in the number of SWS shares outstanding. Read more »

INVESTOR ACTIONS

Walmart Again Defeats Investor Suit, Despite ‘A Closer Call’

A New York federal judge on Wednesday rejected a bid by investors to revive their bribery suit against Walmart’s Mexican unit, saying their case still lacked false statements by the subsidiary even though it might have been "closer" to surviving dismissal in another respect. Read more »

LendingClub Unveils $125M Settlement Of Investor Suits

LendingClub Corp. on Tuesday said it has reached a $125 million preliminary settlement with the plaintiffs behind two securities class actions in California federal and state court that allege the peer-to-peer lending company misled investors in the run-up to its $1 billion initial public offering in 2014. Read more »

DEALS LITIGATION

New Senior Can't Duck Shareholder Suit Over $640M Merger

New Senior Investment Group’s board and its once-removed corporate overlord, Fortress Investment Group, can’t dodge a derivative suit alleging that the senior housing REIT structured a $640 million deal to benefit Fortress at the expense of its own shareholders, Delaware’s Chancery Court said Tuesday.    Read more »

BANKRUPTCY

Weil Seeks To Nip Conflict Concerns In Breitburn Ch. 11 Case

Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP on Tuesday told a New York bankruptcy court that allegations of conflicts of interest involving the bidding for Breitburn Energy Partners LP’s assets were baseless, saying the deal being offered as evidence was with an entity unrelated to the case. Read more »

Tops Supermarkets Opens $1.2B Ch. 11, Plans Debt Rework

Regional supermarket chain Tops Markets LLC opened a nearly $1.2 billion Chapter 11 restructuring in New York bankruptcy court on Wednesday, saying it needs to reduce its debt load, optimize supply and lease agreements and “constructively engage” with its labor unions. Read more »

Woodbridge Seeks Ch. 11 Judge's OK For Calif. Consent Order

The Woodbridge Group asked a Delaware bankruptcy judge late Wednesday to approve its entry into a consent order with California regulators barring the company from future securities sales, without admitting wrongdoing but also without a right to further state hearings. Read more »

PEOPLE

Sidley Austin Adds Ex-Winston & Strawn Global Finance Atty

A financing specialist with experience working on bankruptcies and restructurings has left Winston & Strawn LLP to join Sidley Austin LLP as a partner in its Chicago office, the firm announced Wednesday. Read more »

Wilson Sonsini Hires Ex-Associate As Securities Partner

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC will bolster its securities practice by snagging a partner at Goodwin Procter LLP who used to work at Wilson Sonsini as an associate, the firm announced Tuesday. Read more »

EXPERT ANALYSIS

In Somers, High Court Takes Us Back To 2014

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s opinion in Digital Realty Trust v. Somers, which put a tight limit on anti-retaliation protections under the Dodd-Frank Act, emerged on Wednesday as the obverse of her 2014 opinion in Lawson, which applied the same literalist logic to broaden the whistleblower protections under Sarbanes-Oxley. The real-world impact of Somers is likely to be immediate and somewhat perverse, says Scott Oswald of The Employment Law Group PC. Read more »

A New Era In Global Securities Litigation: Part 3

In addition to the Netherlands, the U.K. and Germany have also experienced rapid proliferation of collective actions in the recent past. As collective action vehicles in Europe develop, issues with enforcement and implementation have emerged, say attorneys with Dechert LLP. Read more »

Looking Closer At A Record Year For Securities Cases

The pace of securities class action filings, settlements and dismissals in 2017 each reached levels not seen in at least a decade — and 2018 is already looking up. Last year also saw record low settlement metrics, but they do not necessarily portend low aggregate settlements in 2018 and beyond, says Stefan Boettrich of NERA Economic Consulting. Read more »

LEXIS PRACTICE ADVISOR

Understanding Texas Mechanic's Liens And Bonds: Part 2

Texas is home to relatively complex statutory frameworks for liens and bonds used to secure payment for services rendered. Statutory and constitutional liens provide powerful remedies for nonpayment, but only if the proper guidelines are strictly observed, says David Tolin of Cokinos Young in the second part of this article. Read more »

LEGAL INDUSTRY

Feature

Why BigLaw Firms Are Hungry To Enter And Grow In Dallas

The desire of large law firms to set up shop and grow in Dallas appears to have reached near-frenzy levels, with reports of new offices springing up, mergers being inked, and fierce competition in the lateral market replete with hefty paychecks. Read more »

Andrews Kurth, Hunton & Williams Will Combine In April

After months of rumors and negotiations, the merger between Texas-based Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP and Virginia's Hunton & Williams LLP has been resoundingly approved by partner votes at both firms, and the union is on track to completion by the end of the quarter, the firms announced Wednesday. Read more »

LA-Based Ogletree Shareholder Sued For Sexual Harassment

Less than six weeks after being hit with a $300 million gender discrimination class action, labor and employment law firm Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC was accused Wednesday in a California state suit of allowing one of its Los Angeles shareholders to sexually harass a married, gay, Latino attorney. Read more »

Baker McKenzie Taps UK Firm For Sexual Assault Inquiry

Baker McKenzie has engaged London-based international firm Simmons & Simmons to perform an independent inquiry into a years-old sexual assault complaint and the firm’s initial response to it, a spokesperson confirmed Wednesday. Read more »

Judiciary Collecting Sexual Harassment Data

In the wake of the scandal surrounding former Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski, the federal judiciary is tracking and releasing sexual harassment complaint data, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts announced on its website Wednesday. Read more »

Analysis

Latest Russia Plea A Glimpse Into Mueller’s Universe

The former Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP lawyer who pled guilty to lying to investigators Tuesday offered a peek into the evidence that special counsel Robert Mueller has developed, experts said, and sent a powerful warning to anyone who might lie to investigators. Read more »

Series

What I Learned In My 1st Year: Working For Uncle Wally

My uncle asked me to research some point of law. I left his office to collect my thoughts, then went back in and asked him a question or two. He looked up and gave me his six-word answer: “Do I look like a library?” He taught me that there are no shortcuts to doing your job, says Paul Hamburger of Proskauer Rose LLP. Read more »

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