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Morvillo Abramowitz Partners Edward M. Spiro and Judith L. Mogul Receive the Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing - 03.22.2017

New York, March 22, 2017 – Morvillo Abramowitz partners Edward M. Spiro and Judith L. Mogul have been selected as winners of the Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing. Only 25 elite articles were chosen from over 1,000 submissions from the nation’s most prestigious law firms. The winners will be celebrated at a ceremony held on May 22, 2017, at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

The Burton Awards, established in 1999, is funded by the Burton Foundation, a non-profit, academic effort devoted to recognizing and rewarding excellence in the legal profession. The Burton Awards honors the finest accomplishments in law, including writing, reform, public service and interest, regulatory innovation, and lifetime achievements in the profession.

Morvillo Abramowitz Partners Edward M. Spiro and Judith L. Mogul Receive the Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing - 03.22.2017

On Wednesday, March 22, 2017, Morvillo Abramowitz partners Edward M. Spiro and Judith L. Mogul were selected as winners of the Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing. Only 25 elite articles were chosen from over 1,000 submissions from the nation’s most prestigious law firms. The winners will be celebrated at a ceremony held on May 22, 2017, at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

The Burton Awards, established in 1999, is funded by the Burton Foundation, a non-profit, academic effort devoted to recognizing and rewarding excellence in the legal profession. The Burton Awards honors the finest accomplishments in law, including writing, reform, public service and interest, regulatory innovation, and lifetime achievements in the profession.

Bribery vs. Extortion: The Deductibility of Illegal Payments - 03.16.2017

The line between legitimate business expenses and commercial bribery can be a fine one, and while businessmen who are prosecuted for having crossed that line are rightfully most concerned with the loss of liberty and stigma associated with a criminal conviction, lawyers and accountants representing them need to be mindful of the tax consequences of their clients’ conduct. This article provides a roadmap for lawyers and accountants to consider when evaluating the tax consequences of payments made to obtain business.

Trump Not Only Victim of Leaks: Courts Are Handcuffed in Responding to FBI Leaks - 03.15.2017

The Trump White House feels besieged by near-constant leaks. The divulged inside stories have ranged from the trivial, such as rumors that President Trump enjoys watching the news in his bathrobe, to the more consequential, such as revelations connecting Trump advisers to Russian intelligence. The resulting atmosphere of suspicion culminated in Trump’s tweets earlier this month alleging that former President Obama ordered the “tapping” of then-candidate Trump’s “wires” at Trump Tower during the Presidential election. [...]

DOJ Announces It Will Extend FCPA “Pilot Program” - 03.13.2017

The Department of Justice (“DOJ”), Fraud Section’s guidance for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) investigations and prosecutions, commonly referred to as the “Pilot Program,” will remain in place when the one-year pilot period ends on April 5. The extension was announced on March 10, 2017 by Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco in a speech at the American Bar Association’s National Institute on White Collar Crime. Blanco explained that when the Pilot Program expires, the DOJ will evaluate its “utility and efficacy” to determine “whether to extend it, and what revisions, if any, we should make to it” and stated that “[t]he program will continue in full force until we reach a final decision on those issues.” [...]

Morvillo Abramowitz Partner Jeremy H. Temkin Featured as a Legal Analyst on Fox Sports Radio - 03.10.2017

On Friday, March 10, 2017, Morvillo Abramowitz partner Jeremy H. Temkin appeared on Fox Sports Radio to discuss the high-profile Buss family feud over control of the Los Angeles Lakers. During the interview, Jeremy answered questions relating to Dr. Jerry Buss’s estate plan, which gave control of the team to his oldest daughter, Jeanie Buss. As noted by Jeremy, while there are dysfunctional family issues at play, it is unlikely that Jeanie’s brothers will be able to force a sale of the team.

When is a Tweet an Official Act? - 03.08.2017

Twitter has come to play a central role in political discourse. Just last week, during a Supreme Court argument in a First Amendment case, Justice Kagan observed that “everybody uses Twitter”:  In addition to “the President,” Justice Kagan explained, “[a]ll 50 governors, all 100 senators, [and] every member of the House has a Twitter account,” which has made Twitter a “crucially important channel of political communication.” [...]

FCPA Enforcement Trends: Will They Continue? - 03.07.2017

In recent months the Department of Justice has announced the resolution of a number of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations. This level of enforcement activity reflects increased resources and attention devoted to foreign bribery allegations in recent years as well as a 2016 DOJ initiative to encourage corporate cooperation and voluntary disclosure. In this article, we discuss DOJ’s FCPA "Pilot Program” and several aspects of recent FCPA resolutions, and we suggest that current enforcement trends may continue in the Trump administration.

Stricter Standards For Standing - 02.21.2017

Following the U.S. Supreme Court's May 2016 decision in Spokeo v. Robins, courts have been re-examining whether plaintiffs seeking statutory damages, particularly under various consumer protection laws, have Article III standing to pursue their claims. This article discusses how judges in the Southern District of New York are beginning to flesh out this new approach to standing.

I Sentenced Criminals To Hundreds More Years Than I Wanted To. I Had No Choice. - 02.17.2017

This essay critiques federal mandatory minimums, examining both the inherently unfair outcomes they generate for convicts, and the predicament in which these mandatory minimums place our federal district court judges – who are forced to levy penalties they know to be unjust. It was written by associate Peter Dubrowski and Shira A. Scheindlin, a former federal judge in the Southern District of New York.

To view this essay, please click here.

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. [...]