In a sharp detour from the era of Chairman Christopher Cox, the SEC under new Chairman Mary Shapiro’s leadership has obtained big budget increases that will be used to increase the number of enforcement lawyers. It has also empowered its staff by streamlining procedures relating to the issuance of formal orders of investigation and negotiating civil penalties with corporations. The staff has responded enthusiastically to the change in regime by bringing an unprecedented number of emergency civil actions, cases involving Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, and cases targeting lawyers.
The agency’s new “get tough” approach, however, raises fundamental issues of fairness that pose dangers to both attorneys and clients. The SEC’s actions in areas such as asset freezes, cases against attorneys, and the application of standards governing when it will allow defense lawyers to review the investigative file during the Wells process raise important due process questions.
Please join Michael MacPhail of Holland & Hart, LLP and Patrick Hunnius of White & Case, LLP for a free webcast that will discuss these issues of importance to all in-house counsel and securities litigators. To attend this webcast scheduled for today, Tuesday, April 21, at 2 pm Eastern, please sign up below.