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CALIFORNIA CORPORATE & SECURITIES LAW

Is This SEC Claim False And Misleading?

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced yet another whistleblower award.  According to the SEC, the award totals more than $5.5 million dollars.  Tellingly, we don’t, and won’t, know the exact amount.  The headline to the SEC’s press release pegs the number at $5.5 million while the order itself reads: Claimant shall receive an award of [Redacted] percent [Redacted]…

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10th Circuit Holds SEC ALJs Are Holding Office Unconstitutionally

In March 2015, I posed the following question: But if you were hailed before an unconstitutional tribunal with the ostensible authority to fine you and bar you from working, would you want a “real” court to step in and consider the constitutionality of the proceedings? Since raising that question, several respondents in administrative proceedings brought by…

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Five Propositions Concerning The SEC Whistleblower Program

Congress, not the Securities and Exchange Commission, established the whistleblower program six years ago as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  As the program has awarded over $100 million to date, it merits a critical analysis and review. Accordingly, I propose the following five propositions for consideration and debate: The whistleblower program…

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Will New Rule 147A Lead To A Renaissance In California Permit Applications?

Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted a new intrastate offering exemption under the Securities Act of 1933.  Significantly, new Rule 147A will have no restrictions on offers and will not require that an issuer be organized in the state in which the intrastate offering is being conducted.  I was pleased to see that the adopting release cited…

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When The SEC Became A Real Estate Regulator

For at least a century, it has been said that only three things matter in real estate: location, location, location.  Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission took this old saw to heart in the context of disclosure of non-GAAP financial measures.  The SEC’s fixation on location began this past May when the staff updated its Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations…

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“Tandy Letter” Requests – RIP

Broc Romanek reported yesterday that the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission will no longer require “Tandy Letter” disclaimers in responses to staff comments.   Among other things, the Tandy Letter policy required a company to state affirmatively that it would not raise the SEC review process and acceleration of effectiveness as a defense in any legal proceeding. …

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Should Tweener Corporations Include This Provision In Their Equity Compensation Plans?

I have previously commented on the phenomenon of what I call the “tweener” corporation.  See Will The Rise Of Tweener Corporations Increase Focus On California’s Annual Report Statute?  These are corporations that are not quite private and not quite publicly traded.  One of the advantages of not being subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities…

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Is This The SEC Or The Lotto?

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission trumpeted that whistleblower awards have now exceeded $100 million, or a million Benjamins! “Chance, the loss or gain of a moment” The SEC’s total payout is impressive, but the number of payees is extremely small.  According to the SEC, awards were paid to only 33 persons. Moreover, 77.6% of the…

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California Legislature Mulls Anti-Short Selling Bill

In April, I wrote about a bill, SB 726 (Hueso), that would have added a new section to the Corporate Securities Law banning false statements to government officials for the purpose of manipulating the price of a company’s security by triggering an investigation.  See “Bill Aims To Put The Kibosh On Alleged Hedge Fund Stock…

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Does The SEC’s New Form 10-K Rule Create A New Disclosure Standard?

Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it has adopted an interim final rule that allows Form 10-K filers to provide a summary of business and financial information contained in their annual reports.  The SEC adopted the rule pursuant to Section 72001 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.  The rule adds a new Item 16 to…

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