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Government Enforcement Exposed - "The GEE"
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26 May 2015 THE SEC EXPLAINS ITS RATIONALE IN FORUM SELECTION IN CONTESTED CASES PART II – THE SEC’S GUIDANCE AND FURTHER QUESTIONS

Our post last week explained the background behind the growing concern regarding the potential home-court advantage the SEC may have in contested matters it litigates as in-house administrative proceedings rather than in federal district court. Since “in recent years an increasing percentage of enforcement actions have been filed as contested matters, as opposed to being fully settled at the outset,” and those figures are “expected to continue to grow,” as Chair Mary Jo White testified recently to Congress, the SEC’s choice of forum takes on increasing significance.   Against this backdrop, earlier this month, the SEC’s Enforcement Division issued a memorandum describing the factors the agency considers when deciding the proper forum in which to bring a contested action. The Commission began by saying it…

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10 Jul 2014 New Administrative Law Judges at the SEC

  On June 30, 2014, Reuters reported that the SEC will be adding 2 new administrative law judges and three new lawyers to the administrative law staff — bringing the total number of judges to 5 and doubling the size of the clerk pool serving those judges. According to the Reuters article, the new judges were needed to “meet growing demand since the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law,” which gave the SEC new authority to impose civil penalties in traditional cease-and-desist administrative proceedings.  As far as that analysis goes, it makes sense — but is that really what is going on? There are at least two alternative motives: (i) the SEC is seeking a friendlier forum for certain insider-trading cases, as its record has…

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