June 28, 2010

Now Available: The 2000-Page Dodd-Frank Act

With the Senate and House expected to vote upon the Dodd-Frank Act – formally known as the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” – within the next few days – with President Obama then signing it before the 4th of July – the 2000-pages of the Act have been posted. Note that the passing of Senator Byrd last night might delay adoption of the legislation, according to this WSJ article.

We have also posted an excerpt consisting of just Title IX (the investor protections of the Act), which consists of 362 pages (Subtitle E, which includes the governance and compensation provisions, begins on page 207). Finally, here is a 10-page summary – and the Conference Report. We have posted these, as well as memos and scorecards in our new “Dodd-Frank Act” Practice Area, which I’m sure will grow like wildfire over the next few weeks.

SCOTUS Rules on “Honest Services” Doctrine: Prosecutors Take a Hit

Last Thursday, the US Supreme Court issued two opinions in the cases of Enron’s Jeffrey Skilling and Hollinger’s Conrad Black that limit the scope of so-called “honest services” fraud charges. The honest services statute provides that for purposes of specified mail and wire fraud offenses, “the term ‘scheme or artifice to defraud’ includes a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.” Many practitioners thought that the statute was too broad and the Supreme Court agreed.

As noted by the multiple entries in “The Conglomerate Blog,” these decisions may have serious implications for prosecutors who have used the “honest services” fraud statute as a powerful tool in the investigation and prosecution of alleged corporate malfeasance. We have started posting memos about these decisions in our “White Collar Crime” Practice Area.

Poll: The Acronym for the Dodd-Frank Act?

Back when the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was passed in ’02, it took a while for “SOX” and “Sarbanes-Oxley” to become the common way that folks referred to the historic legislation. An early movement towards “SarBox” never took off – thankfully – although a few still use that term for some reason. So now we have a new piece of legislation to “name.” I personally like the “DFA” – but doubt that will catch on. Please participate in this anonymous poll about how we should refer to the Dodd-Frank Act on a shorthand basis:

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– Broc Romanek