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Recent Case Law on the Appointment of SEC Administrative Law Judges - 02.13.2017

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) brings enforcement actions in two ways: by filing a complaint in federal district court, or by filing an administrative action before an SEC administrative court headed by an SEC administrative law judge (“ALJ”). The SEC has discretion over the jurisdiction in which they will bring the action. [...]

Morvillo Abramowitz Earns a Firm Spot Among Law360’s 2016 White Collar Practice Groups of the Year - 02.08.2017

On Tuesday, February 8, 2017, Morvillo Abramowitz was selected by Law360 as a 2016 White Collar Practice Group of the Year. Law360’s profile focuses on the firm’s successful representation at trial of Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP’s former chairman Steven Davis, its involvement in the high-profile VimpelCom Ltd. FCPA investigation and subsequent settlement (one of the largest in U.S. history), and its victory at trial in a long-running litigation matter. Partner Robert J. Anello noted that, “the continued success of the firm and its white collar group largely flows from a collaborative work culture that’s less structured on hierarchy and more focused on collecting ideas.”

Law360’s Practice Groups of the Year series recognizes “law firms that racked up victories in litigation and closed the big deals to make their mark among clients and throughout the legal industry.” Now in its seventh year, the Practice Groups of the Year series received more than 600 submissions, and only five were chosen for the White Collar category.

For more information, please click here.

Morvillo Abramowitz Earns a Firm Spot Among Law360’s 2016 White Collar Practice Groups of the Year - 02.08.2017

NEW YORK, February 8, 2017 – Morvillo Abramowitz has been selected by Law360 as a 2016 White Collar Practice Group of the Year. Law360’s profile focuses on the firm’s successful representation at trial of Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP’s former chairman Steven Davis, its involvement in the high-profile VimpelCom Ltd. FCPA investigation and subsequent settlement (one of the largest in U.S. history), and its victory at trial in a long-running litigation matter. Partner Robert J. Anello noted that, “the continued success of the firm and its white collar group largely flows from a collaborative work culture that’s less structured on hierarchy and more focused on collecting ideas.”

Law360’s Practice Groups of the Year series recognizes “law firms that racked up victories in litigation and closed the big deals to make their mark among clients and throughout the legal industry.” Now in its seventh year, the Practice Groups of the Year series received more than 600 submissions, and only five were chosen for the White Collar category.

For more information, please click here.

SEC's View on Statute of Limitations Faces Another Test - 02.07.2017

SEC Takes a Second Bite at Statute of Limitations Apple: Last month, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Kokesh v. SEC to settle the issue of whether the so-called "fallback" five-year statute of limitations applies to SEC disgorgement claims. This article highlights the federal courts’ ongoing debate about the nature of the disgorgement remedy, and the potential impact of the Supreme Court’s decision on SEC enforcement proceedings.

Was President Trump’s Decision to Tell Sally Yates “You're Fired” a Retaliatory Employment Action? - 02.03.2017

Pursuant to the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA), signed by President Barack Obama in 2012, U.S. government employees have a statutory right to "blow the whistle" without suffering retaliation. The WPEA protects federal employees who disclose violations of laws, rules, or regulations and mismanagement, except when such disclosures are specifically prohibited by law or required by Executive order to "be kept secret in the interest of national defense or the conduct of foreign affairs." An independent federal agency, the Office of Special Counsel, has the authority to investigate the "prohibited personnel practices" enumerated in the WPEA and also serves as a conduit for evaluating whistleblower disclosures. [...]

Yates Letter v. Yates Memorandum: Which Will We Remember? - 01.30.2017

Before her last stand refusing to enforce the Muslim Ban and subsequent firing, Sally Quillian Yates was best known for authoring the Yates Memorandum. This policy directive, released over a year ago in apparent response to criticism of the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) handling of cases related to the nation’s financial crisis, directed DOJ prosecutors to focus on holding individuals accountable through criminal prosecutions. Today, entities embroiled in criminal investigations continue to pay massive fines and plead guilty to criminal charges, but these investigations have led to few individual convictions. In this article, we discuss the differences between white collar corporate and individual prosecutions, explain how establishing individual criminal liability has proven difficult for prosecutors, and conclude that the Yates Memorandum may not materially alter the landscape. Thus, Yates may be remembered more for her letter refusing to enforce the Muslim Ban as unjust, not for the Yates Memorandum.

Ethical Public Service in the Wake of McDonnell v. United States - 01.27.2017

On Friday, January 27, 2017, partner Brian A. Jacobs will speak at a CLE presentation for the New Jersey Legislature, Office of Legislative Services. Brian’s panel is entitled, “Ethical Public Service in the Wake of McDonnell v. United States,” and will be held in Committee Room 4, State House Annex of the New Jersey Legislature’s Offices.

For more information, please click here.

Tax Enforcement, John Doe Summonses And Digital Currency - 01.19.2017

With the advent of virtual currencies, tax enforcement faces a new threat that has the potential of rendering assets effectively untraceable. In tackling the challenge presented by 21st century financial instruments, the IRS has turned to John Doe summonses, which were an integral part of its offshore banking enforcement program. This article discusses the background of John Doe summonses and their potential use in addressing the financial privacy offered by virtual currencies.

How Will the New Administration Prosecute Businesses? - 01.19.2017

A pervasive sense of uncertainty about America under the President set to be sworn in tomorrow has extended into almost every aspect of life. Perhaps due to his own past and lack of transparency, speculation abounds about potential changes to white-collar prosecution priorities and securities enforcement under a Trump administration. Anticipating what kind of impact a Trump presidency will have on white-collar criminal practice is largely guesswork given the new leader’s tendency towards imprecision. A look at Trump’s statements and actions to date, as well as his appointees, however, may provide some limited insight. [...]

'Salman': Addressing Vagueness In Insider Trading Law - 01.05.2017

The Supreme Court's highly anticipated decision in Salman v. United States proved to be anticlimactic. It essentially restated the law of tipper/tippee liability set out in Dirks v. SEC. In one area, however, the Court broke new ground – its discussion of the persistent charge that judicially fashioned insider trading law is too vague to satisfy the requirements of due process. In our latest article, we describe the vagueness arguments made in Salman, explain the Supreme Court's grounds for rejecting these arguments, and suggest potential limitations to the Court's vagueness analysis.

Attorneys Beware – Limited Immunity From Defamation Suits - 12.22.2016

When civil litigation turns ugly, it sometimes devolves into allegations of defamation not just between the parties, but against their lawyers as well. In our latest article, we address the parameters of the litigation privilege, and the narrow exceptions that litigants have been able to exploit, as discussed in a pair of recent cases from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. 

How the Clinton Email Warrant May Have Violated DOJ Policy - 12.21.2016

Yesterday at noon, a warrant was unsealed in which a United States Magistrate Judge approved the FBI’s application to search a laptop apparently belonging to Anthony Weiner for any potentially classified emails from Hillary Clinton. Commentators have since raised multiple questions about the warrant, including whether it adequately demonstrated probable cause that Mr. Weiner’s laptop contained evidence of a crime. One question that has not received any attention, however, is whether the DOJ violated its own strict and detailed policy that covers, among other things, search warrants on property belonging to "members of the news media"—a category that surely includes Anthony Weiner, who has worked over the years for multiple news outlets. Had the DOJ followed its own policy, the warrant may never have been approved, or at least may have been delayed until after the election. To the extent the DOJ did not follow its policy, this failure could add substantial fuel to the argument by those who claim that the warrant was a “meritless” attempt by the FBI to influence the 2016 presidential election. [...]

Morvillo Abramowitz Partner Lawrence Iason Featured in The National Law Journal’s Litigation Trailblazers - 12.09.2016

NEW YORK, December 9, 2016 – Morvillo Abramowitz partner Lawrence Iason was featured in The National Law Journal’s special supplement, Litigation Trailblazers. Larry was recognized as a “Litigation Trailblazer” by the publication for his considerable contributions and stellar track record. The National Law Journal selected practitioners who have “shown a deep passion and perseverance in pursuit of their mission, having achieved remarkable successes along the way.”

All honorees were formally congratulated on December 8, 2016 at a “Litigation Trailblazers Awards Dinner” hosted by The National Law Journal.

To view the full feature, please click here.

Morvillo Abramowitz Partner Lawrence Iason Featured in The National Law Journal’s Litigation Trailblazers - 12.09.2016

On Friday, December 9, 2016, Morvillo Abramowitz partner Lawrence Iason was featured in The National Law Journal’s special supplement, Litigation Trailblazers. Larry was recognized as a “Litigation Trailblazer” by the publication for his considerable contributions and stellar track record. The National Law Journal selected practitioners who have “shown a deep passion and perseverance in pursuit of their mission, having achieved remarkable successes along the way.”

All honorees were formally congratulated on December 8, 2016 at a “Litigation Trailblazers Awards Dinner” hosted by The National Law Journal.

To view the full feature, please click here.

Morvillo Abramowitz and Partner Elkan Abramowitz Announced on Benchmark Litigation 2017 US Awards Shortlist - 12.06.2016

On Tuesday, December 6, 2016, Morvillo Abramowitz was shortlisted by Benchmark Litigation as a White Collar Crime/Enforcement/Investigations Firm of the Year. Partner Elkan Abramowitz was also shortlisted in the practice area of White Collar Crime/Investigations/Enforcement as an Attorney of the Year. Firms as well as attorneys who were recognized for this honor have been chosen based on extensive research conducted throughout 2016. All winners will be announced at a formal ceremony on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at the Essex House in New York.

To view this recognition, please click here.