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How Corporate Officials Can Get a Good Night’s Sleep despite Current SEC Enforcement Trends
The reinvigorated SEC Enforcement program is creating trends which should be carefully watched by corporate officials since they may enhance their liability. Combining aggressive enforcement and traditional fraud-based theories with others such as negligence-based fraud, control person liability and strict liability, the SEC is expanding its reach while easing its overall burden of proof in many instances. In recent cases it has brought actions against independent directors claiming they lack independence and were liable for fraud since they missed “red flags,” financial fraud claims grounded in negligence-based fraud, control person claims against officers stemming from underlying FCPA violations and strict liability clawback actions to recover incentive-based compensations while admitting that the officer had no involvement in the underlying wrongful conduct. These kinds of cases, coupled with aggressive interpretations which push the edges of the law, put directors, officers and corporate employees at risk. Join Tom Gorman of Dorsey & Whitney LLP as he explores these emerging, cutting-edge theories and trends, suggests where there are headed in the future, and offers practical steps and strategies to avoid being in their path.
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