SEC’s Appointments of ALJs Held Unconstitutional

By Andrew Friedman By a 7-2 vote in Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the SEC’s cadre of administrative law judges (ALJs) are “inferior officers” who may be appointed by the President, the courts or heads of departments…but not SEC staff. The Commission has delegated ALJ appointments to its staff … More SEC’s Appointments of ALJs Held Unconstitutional

Volatility and Self-Regulation: The Evolving Cryptocurrency Saga

By Andrew Friedman A number of developments last week at the intersection of the “wild west” coin/token/cryptocurrency world and mainstream U.S. business illustrated how the brick and mortar industry, in the absence of firm regulatory guidance, is attempting to impose some order on the volatile blockchain-driven space. THE COINRAIL CYBER HACK The past week included a … More Volatility and Self-Regulation: The Evolving Cryptocurrency Saga

Get Your Popcorn! The CFTC’s Fight With My Big Coin Pay Is About to Go Down

By Allison Baker Shealy The showdown between the CFTC and My Big Coin Pay is a legal nerd’s dream.  There are discussions of legislative history going back to the Futures Trading Act of 1921, discussions of legislative intent, case law and an agency’s own “speaking orders” interpreting its statutes and regulations, and finally, grammar.  Even better, … More Get Your Popcorn! The CFTC’s Fight With My Big Coin Pay Is About to Go Down

Seller Beware! Avoiding Criminal Prosecution as an Unlicensed Money Service Business

By Courtney Schaefer As the use and acquisition of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies become more prevalent, the marketplace for their sale and transfer grows accordingly.  Anyone interested in entering this business would be well-served to familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations governing money services businesses, as well as their application to virtual currency.  Increasingly, … More Seller Beware! Avoiding Criminal Prosecution as an Unlicensed Money Service Business

He’s Got 99 Problems — Is This Subpoena One?

This week, Shulman Rogers’ Courtney Schaefer interviews Allison Baker Shealy on Jay-Z and the SEC. As a lawyer who consumes more pop culture than I care to admit, the recent media attention surrounding the refusal of Shawn Carter (better known as Jay-Z) to respond to a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has … More He’s Got 99 Problems — Is This Subpoena One?

Assessing the Securities and Exchange Commission’s New Interpretive Guidance Regarding Cybersecurity Disclosures

By Andrew Friedman The SEC issued an interpretive release to help guide public companies faced with cybersecurity incidents and risks in late February. The guidance, applicable as of February 26, 2018, compares the importance of digital information to electricity and other forms of power. Likening cybersecurity to a utility like electric power has some important … More Assessing the Securities and Exchange Commission’s New Interpretive Guidance Regarding Cybersecurity Disclosures

Setting Up an ICO? Don’t Leave Yourself Open for Regulation Woes

By Allison Baker Shealy Over the last year, cryptocurrencies, virtual currencies, initial coin offerings, and token sales (collectively “cryptocurrencies”) have taken off within the traditional venture capital space and among new market participants looking to take advantage of Blockchain technology. There appears to be a race to get funds in the door. “We don’t need … More Setting Up an ICO? Don’t Leave Yourself Open for Regulation Woes

Relationship labels may be more complicated under the Supreme Court’s Salman Decision

On December 6, 2016, the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) issued its opinion in the much anticipated insider trading case, Salman v. United States, 580 U.S. ___ (2016). (See Happy Anniversay Newman – Part III for a summary on Salman). In a unanimous decision, SCOTUS upheld the conviction of remote-tippee, Bassam Yacoub Salman, for violating … More Relationship labels may be more complicated under the Supreme Court’s Salman Decision

Online date-seekers beware when in search of love and $$$

You may have heard the term catfish to describe someone who pretends to be someone who he or she is not by creating an online profile with a false identity, generally to pursue deceptive online romances. In the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) latest enforcement action, the defendant takes catfish to a new level by creating a pseudo-company … More Online date-seekers beware when in search of love and $$$

FINRA CEO Ketchum Speaks on Strengthening Three Key Aspects of Markets

In his testimony before the Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investments in the United States Senate on March 3, 2016, FINRA Chairman and CEO Richard Ketchum spoke about three key aspects of the markets that securities market participants and regulators alike should continually strive to strengthen: market fairness, market transparency, and market liquidity.  Chairman Ketchum … More FINRA CEO Ketchum Speaks on Strengthening Three Key Aspects of Markets