SEC Mishap Highlights Taint On Government “Taint Teams”
April 14, 2022 | The Insider: White Collar Defense and Securities Enforcement
A government agency candidly acknowledged the accidental mishandling of potentially privileged documents – this time, its own. On April 5, 2022, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued a statement identifying a control deficiency that inadvertently eroded the separation of its enforcement and adjudicatory functions. For now, the deficiency relates only to two adjudicatory matters currently in litigation in federal court over the constitutionality of the roles of administrative law judges. The agency’s refreshing candor, however, revitalized critics of the agencies’ in-house courts and begs the question: If a well-funded government agency can accidentally mishandle its own restricted documents, how are targets of a document seizure supposed to be confident that the government will protect theirs?