The SEC’s Madoff Report

The SEC decided to take a look at how it failed to uncover the Madoff fraud. The SEC’s Inspector General has been running an investigation and compiling information. The SEC Inspector General, H. David Kotz, released a public version of their report on August 31: Investigation of Failure of the SEC to Uncover Bernard Madoff’s […]

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KPMG Fraud Survey 2009

KPMG Forensic has released their Fraud Survey 2009. The survey shows that many managers remain concerned about fraud. There are plenty of investigations of fraud that may have helped fuel the financial markets meltdown. Record levels of government spending may usher in record levels of fraud, waste, and abuse. In these difficult economic times, managers […]

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Rating Agencies and the First Amendment

Rating agencies have long argued that their ratings of securities are constitutionally protected opinions. Many people have pinned some of the responsibility for the financial markets meltdown on the rating agencies. It sure looks like they gave a fair number of these securities a high rating when they were actually toxic. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank […]

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Blink and Compliance

I am a little late to the game when it comes to reading some of Malcolm Gladwell’s books. Last week, while on vacation with the family, I managed to read Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. The book is about rapid cognition, the kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye. […]

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When Work Papers are not Subject to the Attorney-Client Privilege

The recent Textron decision is causing quite a kerfuffle. The court permitted Internal Revenue Service to gain access to documents created by the defense-contracting firm to determine whether the company’s calculation of its tax liabilities would pass muster during a possible IRS audit. Textron was trying to shield the documents under the Work-Product Doctrine. Work-Product […]

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In-House Counsel as Whistleblowers under SOX

Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (18 USC §1514A) expressly authorizes any “person” alleging discrimination based on protected conduct to file a complaint with the Secretary of Labor and, thereafter, to bring suit in an appropriate district court. There is no exception for lawyers or in-house counsel. Recently, the Ninth Circuit tackled this issue in […]

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Social Networking for the Legal Profession

I just finished reading Social Networking for the Legal Profession by Penny Edwards and Lee Bryant. They were nice enough to send me a copy. Penny and Lee used a few quotes from me, referred to some of my writings and used some of my social networking activity as examples. That poor judgment aside, the book […]

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Green Initiatives and Compliance Risks

Organizations or all types and sizes are adopting policies to provide standards for environmental responsibility and sustainability initiatives.  But adopting green policies may impose risks on your organization if the policies are not properly followed. Perkins Coie published a piece on these risks and issues: Green Policies – Understanding and Addressing Compliance Risks. False Advertising. […]

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How Are the Fortune 100 Using Web 2.0 for Investor Relations?

Francine McKenna, of re: The Auditors, put together a great study on how the Fortune 100 are using Web 2.0 for investor relations. There are some. But for the most part, they are not using web 2.0. The Downside: Only 3 use blogs Only 2 use Facebook Only 2 use Twitter. (Although 4 others do, […]

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New Liability Under the FCPA: Control Person Liability

The SEC charged Nature’s Sunshine Products Inc. with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act after its Brazilian subsidiary made cash payments to customs officials to get their products imported into the country. The SEC also included two officers of the company in those charges. That part of the case was fairly standard. What was new […]

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