• SEC Suffers Three Recent Losses Despite Increased Focus on Trial Readiness
  • December 11, 2013 | Authors: Peter J. Anderson; Eric A. Arnold; Keith J. Barnett; Bruce M. Bettigole; Katherine L. Kelly
  • Law Firms: Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP - Atlanta Office ; Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP - Washington Office ; Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP - Atlanta Office ; Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP - Washington Office
  • Since becoming Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) in April 2013, Mary Jo White has articulated a number of new enforcement priorities for the SEC. White has suggested, for instance, that the Commission adopt a “broken windows” policy towards securities enforcement and that the Commission pursue admissions of wrongdoing as part of its settlement agreements. To the Commission’s growing list of enforcement goals, White recently added another: an increased focus on the Commission’s trial record. In a November 14, 2013 speech, White observed that the Commission’s new policy concerning admissions of wrongdoing “could well lead to more trials by parties refusing to admit their wrongdoing”—a consequence that “[the Commission] welcomes.” White then identified two perceived benefits that she expects will result from an increase in litigation: (1) “[M]ore thoughtful and nuanced interpretations of the law,” which White believes come from developing a full trial record; and (2) “[P]erhaps even more importantly . . . public accountability for both defendants and the government through the public airing of charges and evidence.”