July 3, 2008

Rebirth of Proposed Attorney-Client Privilege Legislation

Last week, Senator Arlen Specter reintroduced his attorney-client legislation in the form of the “Attorney Client Privilege Protection Act of 2008,” whose Senate bill remains S.186 (the ’08 version text of the bill is not yet available; but I believe it’s the same as ’07). Supporting the bill, 36 former federal prosecutors wrote this letter to Senator Leahy.

Already approved by the House, the bill would prohibit federal prosecutors and agencies – including the SEC – from requiring companies to produce privileged documents in exchange for leniency, but companies would still be able to voluntarily waive privilege under the bill. Here is a New York Times article on the bill – and here is a press release from the Association of Corporate Counsel supporting it.

Nasdaq’s Master Index of Interpretative Letters

As mentioned during last week’s “Nasdaq Speaks” webcast, the Nasdaq Staff recently posted a “master index” of their interpretative letters. It should make it easier to search for their letters…

ESOARS in Flux

The battle over ESOARS continues – the latest missives about them from the CII and Zions Bancorp to the FASB’s Emerging Issues Task Force are posted in our “ESOARS” Practice Area. These letters were written because the EITF published guidance in March that seemingly undercuts the SEC’s plan to see how ESOARS fare in the open market.

– Broc Romanek