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Baker Botts Securities Attorneys Discuss SEC Amendments to Administrative Law Judge Proceedings

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SAN FRANCISCO, July 18, 2016 - Baker Botts L.L.P., a leading international law firm, today provided comments on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) vote on July 13, 2013, to adopt amendments to the rules governing enforcement cases brought before the SEC’s in-house administrative law judges (ALJ). Securities attorneys at Baker Botts analyze the commissioner’s vote and the impact the amendments have on the current enforcement actions of the SEC in administrative proceedings.

  • What were the amendments the SEC commissioners adopted?

"The three commissioners adopted a discrete set of amendments to the rules of practice governing enforcement cases brought before the SEC’s own in-house administrative law judges, instead of in federal court," said Jonathan Shapiro, a Baker Botts partner who works on securities litigation and government enforcement.

  • Did the amendments significantly change the current rules for ALJ proceedings?

"Although the amendments improve procedural rights for defendants in SEC enforcement actions brought before ALJs, they do not address the criticism that the ALJ system itself is fundamentally flawed," said Mr. Shapiro.

  • Are the amendments permanent?

"The new rules adopted by the SEC are permanent until they are not," said Bridget Moore, a Baker Botts partner who focuses on securities enforcement, internal investigations and white collar defense. "Meaning, nothing prevents the SEC from taking action in the future to amend these very rules. Or, if Congress sees fit to take legislative action to more narrowly define which enforcement actions are appropriate to be heard by an ALJ, these amendments will, by definition, apply to a more narrow universe of defendants litigating with the SEC."

Mr. Shapiro today published the article "Changes to SEC In-House Court Don’t Address Systemic Concerns," in Bloomberg Big Law Business about the amendments to in-house ALJ proceedings.

 

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