Court Rules That The SEC Unlawfully Withheld Action Mandated By Congress

Last fall, I wrote about Oxfam America’s second lawsuit to force the Securities and Exchange Commission to adopt a resource extraction disclosure rule under Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act.  Readers may recall that Congress ordered the SEC to adopt rules by April 17, 2011.  The SEC, however, missed that deadline by over a year and

Can The SEC Ignore Congress’ Plain Language?

In proposing executive incentive compensation clawback rules, the Securities and Exchange Commission departs materially from the plain words of Section 954 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  Section 954 (codified at Section 10D of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934) states that an issuer will recover incentive-based compensation received during the

SEC Is Sued Again For Doing Nothing

Yesterday, Broc Romanek wrote about a lawsuit filed earlier this week against the Securities and Exchange Commission due to its failure to respond to a petition asking the Commission to adopt political spending disclosure requirements. But must the Commission act on the petitions that are submitted to it?  Rule 192 of the Commission’s Rules of

How Many Board Members Are Required To Take Action?

Suppose your corporation has a five member board of directors but two seats are vacant.  Suppose further that your corporate bylaws included the following two provisions: A.  Three members of the board shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting any business of the board. B.  Any final action of the board shall be

California AG Asks Retailers And Manufacturers To Report On Supply Chains Act Compliance

The California Attorney General’s office recently sent letters to retailers and manufacturers asking them to demonstrate compliance with the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act or why they are not subject to the act.  I first wrote about the act in early 2011.  It requires retail sellers and manufactures doing business in California to disclose

Are The SEC’s Canons Of Ethics Written In The Wind And Waves?

It’s easy to be annoyed by the SEC’s failure to comply with clear statutory mandates.  However, not everyone is longanimous.  Oxfam America, for example, has moved beyond irritation to litigation. See Oxfam America Sues The SEC (Again) For Dilatory Rule Making.  Oxfam America’s suit is based on Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

District Court Refuses To Halt SEC Administrative Proceedings

While serving as General Counsel to California’s Business, Transportation & Housing Agency, I was from time to time asked to respond to ersatz summons and other documents issued by “Our One Supreme Court”.  Given that these “courts” existed only in the minds of their creators, these summons were ignored.  But if you were hailed before an

Controller Must Still “Look To Find A Reason To Believe”

Last month, I wrote about reports that the SEC is seeking years of employment agreements, nondisclosure agreements and other documents in an effort to ferret out possible restraints on whistleblowers.  See Is Anything Fishy With The SEC’s Whistleblower Inquiries?  As noted in the post, the SEC can ask, it can even subpoena, but it takes a court to enforce

Should The SEC Adopt Governance Principles (For Itself)?

When I served as Commissioner of Corporations for the State of California, I was sometimes asked about the other Commissioners.  However, I never concerned myself with the “other Commissioners” because there were no other Commissioners.  Unlike some other states, California had no Securities Commission, just a Commissioner.  In light of recent criticism of several instances of unilateral

Oxfam America Argues SEC Has “Unlawfully Withheld And Unreasonably Delayed” Resource Extraction Rule

I’ve often wished that my legal acumen could be judged by the same standard as professional baseball players.  If that were the case, I could be wrong nearly 60% of the time and yet be considered one of the greatest legal mavens of all time.  I would also be happy if I were subject to the