Tracey Silver

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The recently issued Examination Priorities for 2016 reveals that the SEC’s priorities are organized around the same three thematic areas as last year: (i) retail investors, including retirement investments; (ii) market-wide risks; and (iii) the SEC’s increasing analysis of data to identify problematic activity.…
Last week, the DOJ announced its first corporate enforcement action under the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (“FCPA”) for 2015. IAP World Services, Inc., a Florida-based defense and government contractor, agreed to pay $7.1 million in a non-prosecution agreement (NPA) for conspiring to bribe Kuwaiti officials in exchange for a contract to build a large-scale homeland surveillance system in Kuwait. The primary employee involved, James Rama, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the…
In December, we wrote about the recent Supreme Court decision in Owens v. Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. In Owens, the Court held that class action defendants need not provide evidentiary submissions in support of their notice of removal of a case from state to federal court. Rather, they need only include in their notices a “plausible allegation” that the amount in controversy exceeds the $5 million jurisdictional threshold set forth in the Class Action
In a pair of recent opinions, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) found that FINRA acted within the scope of its rules and governing statutory scheme in refusing to announce corporate actions for companies whose executives were subjects of regulatory actions alleging securities laws violations. FINRA is a self-regulatory organization (SRO) responsible for regulating the market for securities.  It owns and operates the OTC Bulletin Board (OTCBB), an electronic inter-dealer quotation system that FINRA…
The US Supreme Court ruled on Monday that class action defendants need not provide evidentiary submissions in support of their attempts to remove a case from state to federal court.  Rather, they need only include in their notice of removal a “plausible allegation” that the amount in controversy exceeds the jurisdictional threshold. In Owens v. Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co., the plaintiff filed a putative class action in Kansas state court, alleging that the energy-company…
Advertising injury liability coverage offered under commercial general liability (“CGL”) policies is aimed at protecting companies against claims, often brought by competitors, alleging harm by purportedly derogatory statements in the policyholder’s advertisements.  The statements, however, need not be expressly disparaging.  Suits alleging that an ad implies the inferiority of a competitor’s product may trigger coverage.  In a recent case, Hartford Casualty Ins. Co. v. Swift Distribution, Inc., California’s highest court clarified that statements must “clearly…