Jay Clayton of Sullivan & Cromwell, president-elect Donald Trump’s choice to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, has not taken a high-profile role in policy debates but according to MarketWatch was involved in preparing a 2011 report for the New York City Bar critical of enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). That’s a point in his favor, I argue at Cato, since the case against zealous FCPA enforcement is well established. Related earlier, and Texas Public Policy Foundation 2014. More: Andrew Ramonas, BNA Bloomberg.
- Lawyers try contortions to fit Sandy Hook gun suit into “negligent entrustment” mold [Daniel Fisher, more, earlier]
- Judge Gonzalo Curiel, lately in news, tosses class action claiming MillerCoors misrepresented Blue Moon beer as “craft” [Reuters]
- Orlando murderer’s father: The nightclub’s sort of at fault here too, you know [AllahPundit]
- “The long, strange saga of Harry Reid and the exercise band” [Amber Phillips, Washington Post/San Luis Obispo Tribune]
- “Prominent Toronto lawyer ordered to pay $114K for role in pursuing ‘unreasonable’ lawsuits” [National Post]
- That fabled transparency: U.S. Dept. of Justice doesn’t seem to welcome outside scrutiny of its FCPA enforcement [Mike Koehler, FCPA Professor]
Remember that big New York Times exposé that accused Wal-Mart of massive Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)/bribery offenses during its expansion in Mexico? Oops:
A high-profile federal probe into allegations of widespread corruption at Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s operations in Mexico has found little in the way of major offenses, and is likely to result in a much smaller case than investigators first expected, according to people familiar with the probe.
“The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that BNY Mellon has agreed to pay $14.8 million to settle charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by providing valuable student internships to family members of foreign government officials affiliated with a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund.” [SEC press release, WSJ] The SEC said at least three offspring from influential families lacked “the requisite academic or professional credentials” for the internships and proved to be “less than exemplary employees.” [Business Insider] While publicly shaming the bank, the commission did not see fit to name the foreign country involved. Similar probes on intern hiring have been aimed at other big financial institutions including J.P. Morgan, accused of hiring the children of Chinese officials [Reuters]
- In banking and FCPA cases, targets of DOJ prosecution are disproportionately firms domiciled abroad, and other countries do notice that [Jesse Eisinger, NYT “DealBook”]
- “Los Angeles’ Confused Suit against Mortgage Lenders” [Mark Calabria, Cato] Providence also using disparate impact suits in hopes of making banks pay for its housing failures [Funnell]
- Podcast discussion on Operation Chokepoint with Charles J. Cooper, Iain Murray, and Todd J. Zywicki [Federalist Society, earlier]
- New round of suits against banks based on ATMs’ imperfect wheelchair accessibility [ABA Journal, earlier here]
- Walgreen’s could save billions in taxes if it moved to Switzerland from U.S. Whose fault if anyone’s is that? [Tax Foundation]
- “Left unmentioned: how fed regulation and trial lawyers deter banks from protecting themselves with overdraft fees.” [@tedfrank on NYT report about banks’ use of databases to turn down business from persons with records of overdrawing accounts, a practice that now itself is being targeted for regulation]
- Scheme to seize mortgages through eminent domain stalling as cities decline to come on board [Kevin Funnell]
- Virginia Gov. McAuliffe vetoes bill expanding procedural rights for motorists facing camera tickets [The Newspaper]
- Attracting drug deals to town was money-making scheme for a Florida community’s law enforcers [Radley Balko] “Civil Asset Forfeiture: The Biggest Little Racket in Nevada” [Jason Snead and Andrew Kloster, Heritage; related, Evan Bernick on Georgia and Texas; Balko forfeiture roundup; and update, reform in Minnesota]
- “Yes, it’s time to get rid of regulatory agencies’ paramilitary units” [Jason Pye, United Liberty]
- (Some of) what’s wrong with “victim’s rights” laws [Steve Chapman]
- A case study in overcriminalization: “Reforming the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act” [Vikrant Reddy, Texas Public Policy Foundation] More: Overcriminalization in North Carolina [Jim Copland and Isaac Gorodetski, Manhattan Institute]
- “We emphatically reject the notion that due process of law permits the police to frame suspects.” [Third Circuit in Halsey v. Pfeiffer, allowing Byron Halsey to sue police after being wrongly imprisoned for 19 years in double murder case; Newark Star-Ledger] What to do about ongoing epidemic of police “dropsy” and “testilying”? [Balko]
- Prince George’s County, Maryland police announce in advance they’re going to behave unethically over course of next week [Conor Friedersdorf] Update: police call off plan, claiming announcing it had value in deterring johns.
- “Class counsel in Facebook ‘Sponsored Stories’ case seeks to impose $32,000 appeal bond on class-action objectors” [Public Citizen, Center for Class Action Fairness]
- The best piece on bar fight litigation I’ve ever read [Burt Likko, Ordinary Gentlemen]
- Casino mogul Adelson campaigns to suppress online gaming; is your state attorney general among those who’ve signed on? [PPA, The Hill]
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA): “Anyone who values the rule of law should be alarmed by the ADM enforcement action.” [Mike Koehler]
- New FMCSA rules on length of workweek make life difficult for long-haul truckers [Betsy Morris, WSJ via Lee Habeeb and Mike Leven, National Review and more]
- “It takes a remarkable amount of nerve to cobble together publicly available facts, claim you’ve uncovered a fraud on the government, and file a lawsuit from which you could earn substantial financial benefits.” [Richard Samp, WLF] Whistleblower-law lobby tries to get its business model established in West Virginia [W.V. Record]
- Pittsburgh readers, hope to see you tomorrow at Duquesne [law school Federalist Society]
“News crossed this weekend that U.S. bank JP Morgan is being investigated by U.S. regulators for hiring well-connected people in China. Specifically, the bank is said to be under investigation for hiring two bankers whose fathers ran big Chinese companies that later hired JP Morgan for several assignments.” [Henry Blodget, Business Insider]
The implications are mind-boggling [Houston Chronicle/Connecticut Post via NACDL via Americans for Forfeiture Reform, earlier] On paper, NSA is supposed to turn over spy-collected data only if evidence of serious unrelated crime turns up while investigating terrorist threats or other specified matters. However, as Reuters shows in an important new investigation, in drug investigations (and probably other types as well) “law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin — not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges” Thus the common little white lie about how such-and-such was discovered “during a routine traffic stop,” when in fact the traffic stop was intended to intercept something or someone known by previous investigation to be aboard the vehicle. With the origins of investigation routinely “phonied up” in this way, however, it becomes virtually impossible to know how many handoffs of spy information fall into gray areas beyond the clear intent of the authorizing law. [Julian Sanchez, Cato] Our coverage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is here; earlier on surveillance here.