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SEC Commissioners Vent on Administrative Proceedings, Disclosures

Joe Mont | February 23, 2015

What’s ahead for the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2015? Speaking at the Practicing Law Foundation’s annual “SEC Speaks” forum in Washington D.C. on Friday and Saturday, various Commissioners detailed their personal priorities for the year ahead.

In what may be music to the ears of many legal departments, Commissioner Michael Piwowar expressed his concern with the SEC’s recent reliance on in-house administrative proceedings, bypassing federal district courts. “This change has the appearance of the Commission looking to improve its chances of success by moving cases to its in-house administrative system,” he said. In fiscal year 2014 the SEC won 61 percent of federal court trials, but was successful in 100 percent of its administrative proceedings

In administrative proceedings, there is no jury and cases are presented to administrative law judges that are employees of the Commission. Also, discovery available to defendants is more limited....

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