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Web Watch: Best of the Week Ending April 20

Bruce Carton | April 20, 2012

Throughout the week over at Securities Docket I highlight the most interesting columns and blog posts from around the web on the subjects of SEC enforcement and securities litigation. Here is a digest of my picks for the week ending April 20.

Competing fixes for bribery law
Mike Scarcella and Todd Ruger, The National Law Journal

Top U.S. Department of Justice officials are preparing to issue new guidance about the government's enforcement of foreign bribery laws, as members of Congress and business advocates press for sweeping changes of their own.

Pursuing Foreign Fraud Claims on American Soil
Peter Henning, DealBook

Federal prosecutors and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission want to bring greater transparency to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), a powerful tool that has generated more than $2 billion in criminal fines since 2009. But DOJ officials, cutting back against the growing calls for FCPA reform, said they have no interest in minimizing the ability to punish corrupt individuals and corporations.

Unfortunately for the S.E.C., suggestions to allow for a greater number of lawsuits are unlikely to generate much support on Capitol Hill. Opponents are likely to say that more litigation means greater expenses for companies and encourages potentially frivolous claims. Add in the mantra that litigation costs jobs and makes companies fearful of going public, and any recommendation to tinker with the Supreme Court's narrow test for securities fraud is likely to fall on deaf ears.

The SEC: Outmanned, Outgunned, and On a Roll
Devin Leonard, Bloomberg BusinessWeek

The twists and turns of the Galleon probe—revealed here for the first time through the eyes of the SEC and the lawyer who broke the case—reveal much about the SEC's challenges: its complacent culture, its Byzantine bureaucracy, and its statutory weaknesses. They also show how the SEC overcomes those challenges. “We don't have handcuffs,” says Wadhwa. “All we have are our pencils, our rulers, and our calculators.”

Interview: How District Judge Jed Rakoff makes the calls
Grant McCool, Reuters

Since being nominated to the bench by President Bill Clinton in 1995, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff has earned a reputation for attention-grabbing rulings -- from declaring the death penalty unconstitutional in 2002, to, more recently, challenging the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's settlements with Bank of America and Citigroup over financial-crisis-era toxic securities....

In spacious chambers on the 13th floor of Manhattan federal court, desks laden with piles of papers and books, Rakoff, a former prosecutor and trial lawyer, spoke with Reuters' Grant McCool about the law, the twists and turns of his career and what he sees as a decline in the ability of lawyers to try a jury case.