Author Archives: Sara Kropf

Supreme Court Rules SEC Administrative Judges Are Unconstitutional, But Special Counsel Mueller is Safe

By Dan Portnov Yesterday, the Supreme Court decided Lucia v. SEC, holding that the Securities and Exchange Commission’s five-member commission must appoint the agency’s Administrative Law Judges (“ALJs”), as these in-house judges are “inferior officers” under the Constitution’s appointments clause. … Continue reading

Posted in SEC Investigation, SEC policy and practice | Leave a comment

Surviving Parallel Proceedings

  By Dan Portnov Late last week the other shoe finally dropped for Theranos founder and ex-CEO Elizabeth Holmes, as she and fellow executive Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani were indicted on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Following … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Investigation, DOJ policy and practice, SEC Investigation, SEC policy and practice, Wiretaps | Leave a comment

The Department of Justice Should Drop the Inauguration Day Protest Cases

The Department of Justice has been humiliated in its misguided prosecution of over two hundred Inauguration Day protestors. It has lost every single case to go to trial. It has engaged in intentional violations of the rules. And it has … Continue reading

Posted in Acquittal After Jury Trial, Brady violations, Discovery/Brady, DOJ policy and practice, First Amendment | Tagged | Leave a comment

Initial Coin Offerings and SEC Enforcement: Protecting Investors (Part I)

  By Dan Portnov The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (“OIEA”) came in hot last week with its HoweyCoin initial coin offering pre-sale – a mock ICO designed to teach cryptocurrency-hungry investors the lesson that some ICOs may … Continue reading

Posted in CFTC case, Due Diligence, Investor fraud, SEC Investigation, Securities fraud | Leave a comment

Do Prosecutors Hate the Attorney-Client Privilege?

By Sara Kropf The search of attorney Michael Cohen’s office by federal agents led to a phalanx of “former federal prosecutors” quoted by the media. That’s not surprising. To be fair, I know a lot of great former federal prosecutors … Continue reading

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OIG Investigations – Why Lawyers and Federal Employees Should Both Worry (Part III)

By Dan Portnov We have written on several occasions[1] about OIG investigations on this blog, chiefly because a) their opacity creates a certain mystique, and b) we hope to minimize the chances that their targets underestimate the seriousness of what … Continue reading

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Doing the Government’s Laundry

By Dan Portnov In certain legal (nerd) circles, coining a phrase or term of art is one of the surest ways to achieve immortality – think Tim Wu’s first use of “network neutrality” in a 2003 journal article or Justice … Continue reading

Posted in Brady violations, Criminal Investigation, Deferred Prosecution Agreement, Discovery/Brady, DOJ policy and practice, Securities fraud | Leave a comment

Music City and the FCPA: What More Can You Want?

If you are new to white-collar work, you will quickly hear about the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or FCPA. For you seasoned attorneys out there, you may feel like you’ve heard too much about it. But here’s the thing: you … Continue reading

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The Government Is Probably Going to Win on the Michael Cohen TRO Motion

The government filed its opposition to Michael Cohen’s motion for a temporary restraining order today. I wrote earlier this week about the search warrant and noted that there would be a court battle coming. Well, here it is. Oddly, the … Continue reading

Posted in Attorney client privilege, FBI policy and practice, Fourth Amendment, Grand jury, Search warrant | Leave a comment

The Search Warrant for Lawyer Michael Cohen’s Office – How Did That Happen? DOJ Policies Reviewed

On April 9, 2018, news broke that the FBI had raided the office of President Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen. Apparently the search was the result of referral from Special Counsel Mueller’s team to the SDNY U.S. Attorney’s Office. When I … Continue reading

Posted in DOJ policy and practice, Public Corruption, Search warrant | Tagged | 4 Comments