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White Collar Crime

Florida Fisherman off the Hook for Sarbanes-Oxley Violation: Supreme Court decides Yates v. United States

Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Teleforum March 05, 02:00 PMFederalist Society Teleforum Conference Call

In a 4-1-4 decision issued on February 25, the United States Supreme Court held that a federal criminal law prohibiting the destruction of corporate records and other “tangible objects” could not be used against a commercial fisherman who threw undersized fish overboard to avoid prosecution. The decision featured an unusual lineup of justices, wave after wave of fishing metaphors, and a citation to Dr. Seuss. Todd Braunstein covered the November oral arguments on a Teleforum conference call, and he will return to wade through the complicated decision.

  • Todd F. Braunstein, Counsel, WilmerHale

Yates v. United States - Post-Argument SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 11-21-14 featuring Todd Braunstein
Todd F. Braunstein November 21, 2014

On November 5, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Yates v. United States. This case concerns whether Mr. Yates was given fair notice that throwing undersized fish back into the Gulf of Mexico during the course of an investigation would violate the "document shredding provision" of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which makes it a crime for anyone who “knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object” with the intent to impede or obstruct an investigation.

To discuss the case, we have Todd Braunstein who is Counsel at WilmerHale.

Something Fishy in Sarbanes-Oxley? Yates v. United States - Podcast

Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Podcast
Todd F. Braunstein November 06, 2014

At issue in Yates v. United States is the "anti-shredding" provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act which makes it a federal crime if one “knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object” with the intent to impede or obstruct a federal criminal investigation. John Yates was criminally prosecuted because he allegedly destroyed three fish that were too small to be caught legally. According to Mr. Yates, his prosecution was improper because he could not have had fair notice that a fish would be considered a “tangible object." Our expert attended the oral arguments and offered his impressions to a live Teleforum audience.

  • Mr. Todd F. Braunstein, Counsel, WilmerHale

Residual Class Action Awards: Cy Pres - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Theodore H. Frank March 21, 2014

gavel money

Cy pres (from the French cy pres comme —“as near as possible”) originated in the trust context, but has more recently been applied to class action litigation, as courts try to determine what to do with sometimes significant amounts of settlement funds remaining after all identified plaintiff awards have been made.  In recent decades, courts have agreed to award such remaining funds to third party recipients who, while not parties to the underlying suits, are deemed worthy by the court.  Sometimes, the courts have selected these third party recipients based on recommendations from the attorneys representing the plaintiffs.  What are the legal underpinnings for such awards to entities or people not party to the underlying case?  What are the policy considerations in making or prohibiting such awards?  These and other questions were discussed by our experts.

Featuring:

  • Prof. Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Vanderbilt University Law School
  • Mr. Theodore H. Frank, Founder and President, Center for Class Action Fairness and Adjunct Fellow, Manhattan Institute Center for Legal Policy

[Listen now!]

Supreme Court To Rule on Fraud on the Market: Halliburton v. Erica P. John Fund - Podcast

Litigation and Corporations, Securities & Antitrust Practice Groups Podcast
Jeffrey B. Wall March 18, 2014

Supreme Court

On March 5, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Halliburton v. Erica P. John Fund, and our expert attended and then reported on the argument. Will the Court continue to recognize the fraud on the market theory? How much reliance is required on the part of the plaintiffs? Will the Court allow introduction of evidence that a defendant’s statements did not affect the price of its stock to rebut a presumption of reliance?

Featuring:

  • Jeffrey B. Wall, Special Counsel, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

[Listen now!]