The Corporate Compliance and White Collar Advisor

In a win for employers, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that “…the False Claims Act’s anti-retaliation provision unambiguously excludes relief for retaliatory acts occurring after the employee has left employment.” Potts v. Center for Excellence in Higher Education, Inc., No. 17-1143 (10th Cir. Nov. 6, 2018) (emphasis added). Background Debbi Potts, a campus director at an educational organization, resigned her employment in July 2012. In September 2012, Potts and the organization entered…
California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed Senate Bill 826 into law which requires publicly-held corporations with principal executive offices in California to have a certain number of females on their boards of directors. The new law sets forth phased requirements for these corporations. By the end of 2019, each covered company must have at least one female director. By the end of 2021, this number increases to three female directors if the company has six…
Following a February 2018 Sports Illustrated article regarding alleged sexual harassment and misconduct within Dallas Basketball Limited, the Dallas Mavericks basketball organization (“Mavericks”), the Mavericks commissioned an independent investigation into the claims.  The investigators, comprised of two outside law firms, interviewed 215 witnesses and analyzed 1.6 million documents.  The investigation report was publicly released on September 19, 2018. The lengthy report details a number of allegations regarding sexual harassment or other misconduct by the former…
Written by Jessica L. Sussman, Joseph C. Toris and Summer Law Clerk Bridget Jeong We follow the leader wherever we go, and that applies to compliance, as well. While federal and state laws require organizations to adopt compliance programs, a low level of commitment to these compliance efforts from the highest levels of management can pose a serious threat to the implementation and sustainability of such programs. It is easy to say “we are committed…
Following a month-long trial in Hartford, Connecticut, before Chief U.S. District Judge Alvin Thompson, a jury returned a split verdict in a case charging two defendants with conspiracy and theft of trade secrets. The jury completely exonerated one of two defendants, Jay Williams, represented by Jackson Lewis, while returning guilty verdicts on certain counts against his co-defendant, and acquitting him on several other counts. Dylan Sparks, an electrical engineer from Ardmore, Oklahoma, and Jay Williams,…
The need for an effective compliance program to assist companies in preventing, detecting and, if necessary, promptly correcting issues before they become problems is nothing new. However, there is an increased focus by the government designed to induce employees to report suspected unlawful conduct by their employers to regulatory agencies. While this focus may benefit consumers and investors, it also raises the real possibility a company will first learn about an issue after an audit or…
On March 19, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced its highest ever Dodd-Frank Act (“DFA”) bounty awards to three whistleblowers. These SEC awards represent a new milestone in the SEC’s ongoing efforts to incentivize would-be whistleblowers to report unlawful conduct directly to the Commission. Two whistleblowers will divide a nearly $50 million award and a third whistleblower received $33 million; both awards shattered the previous high award of $30 million and continue the…
A former employee who failed to show he reported alleged securities law violations to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as required under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (DFA), cannot claim his former employer unlawfully retaliated against him, federal Judge William J. Martini has ruled. Price v. UBS Financial Services, Inc., No. 2:17-01882 (D. N.J. Apr. 19, 2018). To read full article please click here.…
The New Year is prime time to take a look at your Code of Conduct and compliance policies both to consider whether you are up to date on all applicable requirements, but also so that you are fluent in your own processes and prepared to take prompt and compliant action when issues arise. Those policies likely already include a prohibition against unlawful harassment and a process for employees to report concerns about harassment or other…
Just days after retail sales of recreational marijuana became legal in California, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new marijuana enforcement policy that calls for rescinding the long-standing, lenient policy set by the Obama Administration.  Now it is up to the individual U.S. Attorney’s Offices to determine whether and how to pursue criminal prosecutions in their districts. For more information, see the article by Matthew F. Nieman and Kathryn J. Russo of Jackson Lewis, P.C.…