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Web Watch: Best of the Week Ending Feb. 19

Bruce Carton | February 19, 2010

binoculars230x184Throughout 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 February 19:

Using a Lawyer's Words Against a Client (Peter Henning, DealBook)
DealBook | February 19, 2010
Lawyers are used to serving as a mouthpiece for their clients, especially those involved in criminal prosecutions. A statement by a party to a case may be introduced against that person at trial, so it is better to have the lawyer make any public statements to shield the client from the risk of a misstatement that could come back to haunt the person later.

But in the retrial of the former chief executive of Brocade Communications, Gregory L. Reyes, federal prosecutors have proposed introducing press releases that quote his lawyer as evidence of Mr. Reyes's knowledge of his own wrongdoing.

Insider trading case has implications for hedge funds industry (Angela Hayes, Hedge Funds Review)
Hedge Funds Review | February 19, 2010
The dismissal of the US insider trading case against Mark Cuban in 2009 led to questions about the precise boundary of insider dealing restrictions and whether there may be significant differences between the US and UK law.

There is nothing new in the Galleon case in terms of the type of behaviour being complained about or the way the US prosecutors are seeking to apply the law. For those who aim to comply with the law there is nothing materially different in the practical application of UK and US laws on insider dealing.

Is This the Dawn of a Stricter SEC? (Ruthie Ackerman, Bank Investment Consultant)
Bank Investment Consultant | February 17, 2010
Gripped by the Bernard Madoff scandal, a new administration in Washington and new regulators on Capitol Hill, this has been a tumultuous period for Wall Street, and an increase in settlements by the Securities and Exchange Commission in the first quarter has left many wondering if there will be greater enforcement going forward.

Elaine Buckberg, the co-author of NERA Economic Consulting's SEC Settlements Trends: 1Q10 Update, said in an interview Tuesday that it is very unusual for an increase in settlements to occur in the first quarter. Even more interesting, is that settlements rose in tandem with a decline in the number of settlements that came with a financial component.

Wasn't the SEC Supposed to be the "Investor's Advocate?" (Joanne Bamberger, PunditMom)
PunditMom | February 17, 2010
Please accept my apologies for the rhetorical question. As someone who worked at the Securities and Exchange Commission for several years, I already know the answer to that question is, "yes." Unfortunately, that mission has gone missing and seems to have been replaced by keeping Wall Street bankers afloat at the expense of those of us who were just trying to save for retirement and our kids' college educations.

Stanford Lost It All in a Year: Fortune, Yachts, Right to Name (Laurel Brubaker Calkins and Andrew Harris, Bloomberg)
Bloomberg | February 17, 2010
Indicted financier Allen Stanford, accused a year ago by federal authorities of running a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, has lost his fortune, his yachts and the right to use his own name -- and he hasn't faced a jury yet.

How Risky Is Your Board? (Kate O'Sullivan, | February 16, 2010
Two major governance flaws tracked by The Corporate Library are the qualifications of board members and the relationships that board members have with each other and with management. The tenure of board members is one of the first places Marshall says he looks for clues about governance weakness.