September 30, 2015

SEC Proposes Changes to ALJ Tribunals

Last week, the SEC proposed amendments to how it’s administrative tribunals work in an attempt to quell the firestorm over its use of ALJs (although, as this blog notes, the proposal does little to address constitutional challenges to the SEC’s use of ALJs). We’re posting memos about the proposal in our “SEC Enforcement” Practice Area. The proposals include three primary changes to the SEC’s Rules of Practice:

– Adjust the timing of administrative proceedings, including by extending the time before a hearing occurs in appropriate cases
– Permit parties to take depositions of witnesses as part of discovery
– Require parties in administrative proceedings to submit filings and serve each other electronically, and to redact certain sensitive personal information from those filings

Keith Bishop wrote this interesting blog about the proposal entitled “When Is Medical Information Considered Sensitive?” And this proposal comes a few days after, as noted in this blog, the Second Circuit handed the SEC another defeat – forcing the SEC to stay the administrative proceeding against well-known fund manager Lynn Tilton. It’s hard to tell why though, as the Second Circuit’s order is one sentence long.

Meanwhile, this Bloomberg article summarizes a study that claims that the SEC’s Enforcement Division is padding its “success” numbers…

SEC Enforcement & the Electronic Communications Privacy Act

In this blog, David Smyth lays out how the pending “Electronic Communications Privacy Act” could impede Enforcement’s ability to obtain emails not used through normal corporate channels…

The UK’s Modern Slavery Act Applies to Many Companies Doing Biz in the UK!

As noted in this Cooley memo, the UK has adopted the Modern Slavery Act 2015, which imposes specific transparency requirements on many companies doing business in the UK, regardless of where the company is incorporated! There is a threshold for doing business in the UK that triggers its applicability. I don’t know if the number is settled yet, but I’ve heard £36 million – so it will certainly apply to many larger companies. That is quite a broad sweep!

– Broc Romanek