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You’ve Got Mail! Emails May Be Subject to Stockholder Books and Records Requests

June 10, 2019 | Blog | By Zachary Liebnick, Zane Polston

Delaware corporations have always been required to provide certain information to their stockholders under Section 220 of the Delaware General Corporation Law (DGCL), but the scope and form of that information  has naturally changed as technology advances.  A recent expansion of the type of documents that corporations may be required to provide occurred in a recent case in which the Delaware Supreme Court held in KT4 Partners LLC v. Palantir Technologies, Inc., that a corporation may be required to produce emails and other electronically stored records at the request of stockholders who bring books and records requests under Section 220.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Kokesh v. SEC imposes a five-year statute of limitations on agency-sought disgorgement in SEC enforcement actions, resolving a Circuit split and definitively categorizing disgorgement as a statutory “penalty” under 28 U.S.C. § 2462.

U.S. IPO Market: Can We Bounce Back From Two Slow Years?

May 17, 2017 | Blog | By Megan Gates, Sahir Surmeli

The U.S. IPO market began 2017 with a solid start, with 25 IPOs raising nearly $10 billion in the first quarter and another 31 IPOs in the second quarter through May 15.
Snap Inc., which debuted on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on March 2nd, was the largest tech IPO since Alibaba went public in 2014.  Initially priced at $17 per share, the share price jumped to more than $24 by the end of the first trading day, raising $3.4 billion and beating market expectations.
Public companies will soon be required to include an active hyperlink to each exhibit to all registration statements filed under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and all periodic and current reports filed under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, filed on or after September 1, 2017.
The IPO market in 2016 was abysmal, especially for the life sciences sector. Annual IPO proceeds fell to the lowest level since 2003. The IPO market forecast for 2017 is uncertain.
SEC Acting Chairman Michael S. Piwowar issued a public statement on February 6, 2017 requesting input on any unexpected challenges that companies have experienced as they prepare for compliance with the CEO pay ratio rule, which will become required disclosure in public company 2018 proxy statements.
A recent First Circuit decision raises the pleading bar for plaintiffs asserting violations of Section 11 of the Securities Act. Only would-be plaintiffs who acquired a security that is the direct subject of a prospectus and registration statement are entitled to sue under Section 11.
On July 13, 2016, the SEC announced its adoption of several amendments that update the SEC’s rules of practice governing its administrative proceedings. 
Every year at around this time, the Mintz securities lawyers are busy collaborating with our December fiscal year-end clients to prepare for the annual year-end reporting season, involving a flurry of 10-Ks, proxy statements, governance review and upkeep, and related matters.

First Circuit Overturns SEC Commissioners’ Sanctions Order

December 15, 2015 | Blog | By Chip Phinney

As we have discussed before, the SEC’s increased use of in-house administrative proceedings in enforcement actions involving allegations of fraud has been a subject of considerable debate.
In her year and a half as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division, Leslie R. Caldwell has repeatedly emphasized the importance of a company having a compliance program fine-tuned to its specific risks to prevent fraud and corruption and to best position the company in the event that misconduct nonetheless occurs.
On October 22, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, who oversees DOJ’s Civil Division, spoke at the 16th Pharmaceutical Compliance Congress and Best Practices Forum in Washington, D.C.
On Monday, October 19, I’ll be moderating a panel on Strategic Considerations for Navigating a Dual-track M&A and Initial Public Offering Pathway at the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Annual Conference here in Boston.
On October 13 from 1 – 2:30 pm ET, join Pam Greene and a panel of other experts for a timely webinar covering Regulation A+: Practical Tips and Guidance for Launching a Mini-IPO. Regulation A+ went into effect in June 2015 to allow private US and Canadian based companies to raise equity - up to $20 million under Tier I and up to $50 million under Tier II - from both accredited and nonaccredited investors, subject to certain limitations.
On September 22, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice’s  Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division, Leslie R. Caldwell, spoke at the Global Investigations Review Conference in New York, addressing the recent memo by Deputy Attorney Sally Yates on individual accountability. 
As originally reported on our Privacy & Security Matters blog, Mintz Levin will sponsor a webinar on September 30 at 1:00 p.m. (ET) to address regulatory compliance and risk management aspects of cyber attacks and data breaches at financial institutions and their service providers.
As was recently reported in the New York Times and elsewhere, the Justice Department issued new policies last week that place individual executives as the focus of their prosecution efforts, and encourage companies to cooperate in building a case against those individuals.
A witness testifying under oath before the SEC recently refused to answer any questions directed to him, not because of any privilege, but rather -- as he said, sixty-eight different times -- because he was “scared" and “frightened.”  The SEC subsequently (and successfully) petitioned a Massachusetts federal court for an order compelling the individual to re-appear before the SEC and comply with the subpoena in question. SEC v. Carlos R. Garza, 1:15-mc-91258-RGS (D.Mass.).
Pursuant to Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which added new Section 13(p)(1) to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, the SEC promulgated Rule 13p-1 (the “Conflict Minerals Rule”), which required that issuers that manufacture (or contract to manufacture) products in which conflict minerals are “necessary to the functionality or production of the product” are required to disclose whether or not their products contain tin, gold, tantalum, or tungsten mined from the Democratic Republic of Congo (the “DRC”) and nine of its neighboring countries. 
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