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Web Watch: Best of the Week Ending Sept. 24

Bruce Carton | September 24, 2010


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 September 24:

Judge-Mandated Racial Quotas For Plaintiffs' Law Firms
Point of Law | | Sep 24, 2010
In an order signed this week, U.S. District Judge Harold Baer (S.D.N.Y.) required two firms serving as co-lead counsel in a securities class action to "make every effort" to assign at least one minority and one woman to the case.... If the lawyers' pleadings are insufficient in their representation of the class, a judge should properly intervene. But is Judge Baer of the view that only lawyers of the same race and sex as class members can "represent" them? In a securities class action? Why is that so? Presumably judge Baer is not multi-sexual and is perhaps not multi-racial; yet presumably he can nonetheless decide cases impartially. Is Judge Baer making affirmative action a pre-requisite for appearances in his court? Perhaps he has clerks of different races and sexes? If so, is he implying that judges whose chambers are not "diverse" are incapable of rendering justice?
The Six Principles of a Best Practices Anti-Corruption Program Under the UK Bribery Act Guidance-Part I
FCPA Compliance and Ethics Blog | | Sep 24, 2010
The Six Principles are designed to be result oriented and to allow a flexible approach to ethics and compliance. US practitioners will observe this is in contrast to the US approach, which is much more rules based. The UK approach is to allow each company to tailor its policies and procedures so that they are proportionate to the nature, scale and complexity of its activities. Clearly there is a huge variety of circumstances; small and medium sized organizations will, for example, face different challenges compared to large multi-national enterprises. As a result, the detail of how each company addresses these principles will vary, but the outcome should always be robust with effective anti-bribery systems and controls.
Expand The Corporate Miranda Warning
The FCPA Blog | | Sep 24, 2010
On her way to be interviewed by her employer's outside lawyers about alleged overseas corruption, Rose Carson, the government says, stopped by the ladies room and flushed some relevant documents down the toilet. Because of that, she's charged with obstructing a federal investigation under 18 U.S.C.§ 1519, which carries up to 20 years in jail. Did anyone warn her that concealing information from company lawyers conducting an internal FCPA investigation could be a federal crime?
2 Insider Trading Cases Take Center Stage
DealBook | | Sep 22, 2010
Recent court decisions in two civil enforcement cases filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission will put front and center the question of when trading by insiders rises to the level of securities fraud, as both cases appear headed for trial. The civil enforcement actions against Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, and Angelo R. Mozilo, the former chief executive of Countrywide Financial, are of paramount importance to the S.E.C. as it tries to re-establish its credibility as the chief protector of the integrity of the securities markets.
SEC Defends Broad FOIA Exemptions: Putting Hedge Funds, Not the Public, First | | Sep 21, 2010
By concealing much of its records from FOIA, the SEC is also biting the hand that feeds it. How so? The Enforcement Division reportedly gets a third of its leads from the financial press. Trouble is, reporters covering potential fraudsters are often the ones who rely on records obtained through FOIA. It seems the SEC will have to come up with other sources for its leads — especially since there are far fewer investigative reporters covering this beat.
When is a Securities Suit Stale?
The D&O Diary | | Sep 21, 2010
When the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling earlier this year in the Merck case pertaining to the question of what triggers the running of the statute of limitations in securities cases, there was some speculation that the decision might encourage an influx of cases involving events from the distant past. There really have not been that many cases that seemed to have been filed in reliance on Merck -- at least not until now. A case filed late last week, in which the class period cutoff date is over three years past, seems to represent a pretty clear example of a filing made in reliance on Merck, and may suggest both the kinds of filings that Merck may encourage and also the problems these cases may present.