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What To Do When The SEC Comes Calling

Harvey L. Pitt | January 3, 2007

Unfortunately (at least in the view of public companies), the Securities and Exchange Commission has been very successful in its mission to create the illusion of three dimensions, or seemingly being everywhere at once. Its enforcement prowess is undeniable, and its tenacity is not to be underestimated. This means that many companies will (not may), at some point in the not-too-distant future, confront an SEC inquiry or investigation. How companies prepare for and respond to that unwanted attention can spell the difference between:

  • a modest diversion and a major crisis;
  • senior executives keeping their jobs or potentially forfeiting them; and
  • quickly disposing of nettlesome class action and derivative litigation, or enduring protracted proceedings where legal fees alone inflict serious and very real punishment.

In the context of responding to an SEC inquiry or investigation, there are three discrete periods...

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