Entries by Mary O'Connor

Whistling Past the Pandemic: The Increasing Trend of Whistleblower Reports during COVID-19

One of the collateral impacts of employee anxiety due to COVID-19 has been an increase in whistleblower reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to Steven Peikin, Co-Director of the Division of Enforcement, the SEC received 35% more tips, complaints and referrals for investigation between mid-March and early May 2020 than during the […]

Five Key Internal Investigation Considerations

Internal investigations are used by companies to learn the facts, identify legal and compliance issues, and resolve concerns across a number of areas, ranging from employment practices to health and safety to financial reporting.  When a company determines to conduct an internal investigation, thinking through these five key issues will help assure a thorough and […]

Attorney-Client Privilege in #MeToo Era Investigations

In September 2018, Dallas Basketball Limited, which operates the Dallas Mavericks, released a 43-page report of an internal investigation of alleged sexual misconduct in its business office.  The investigation was conducted by outside counsel and found numerous instances of sexual harassment and other improper workplace misconduct spanning almost twenty years. The Mavericks are not the […]

Uncertainty Continues Around “Fiduciary Rule” Protections for Retirement Investors

The last 40 years have seen a marked change in retirement benefits, with fewer employer-sponsored defined benefit plans, more defined contribution plans (including 401(k) plans and Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plans), and a proliferation of individual retirement accounts (IRA). These changes have raised questions among regulators about the protections available to employees who are now […]

The SEC’s Reach May be Longer than you Think

Privately-owned businesses and individuals can be surprised to receive a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requiring them to produce extensive documents or give testimony. What does the SEC do, and how does it touch on private companies and private individuals? The Role of the SEC in Enforcing Securities Laws By its own […]