The need for better cybersecurity, along with the responsibility to safeguard client and firm information from the risk of loss from cyberattack, has been the focus of considerable discussion by law firms for the past four years. While some law firms have recently awakened to this key issue, significant further work needs to be undertaken. Let’s look at the progress (or lack thereof) of law firm security over this four-year period — and four ways firms could improve both the speed and effectiveness of their cybersecurity going forward.
Eric Breslin, a partner with law firm Duane Morris LLP, has been appointed to the New Jersey Supreme Court Criminal Practice Committee. Breslin, a litigator in the firm’s Newark office, will serve on the committee through August 2015.
The Criminal Practice Committee reviews cases and issues referred to it by the state Supreme Court and makes recommendations regarding revisions and amendments to the New Jersey Rules Governing Criminal Practice. The rules dictate practice and procedure in all criminal proceedings in the state’s courts, including the municipal courts.
Duane Morris partner Mauro M. Wolfe has been named to the Council of Urban Professionals’ second annual list of CUP Catalysts: Change Agents 2013 | Law. The list highlights and celebrates the accomplishments of diverse leaders across the legal sector who have achieved extraordinary success in business and have made a significant impact on their community. These individuals will be recognized at CUP’s 4th Annual Lawyers Forum on October 29, 2013.
The CUP Catalysts: Change Agents 2013 | Law list comprises 15 legal professionals, between the ages of 35-50, who serve at senior levels of organizations, and who have been nominated by their colleagues and peers. For the full list of CUP Catalysts in Law, visit the Council of Urban Professionals’ website.
Duane Morris partner Eric R. Breslin will speak at the American Conference Institute’s 3rd National Forum on Securities: Litigation and Enforcement. The conference will be held on February 27, 2014 at the Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel.
ACI’s 3rd National Advanced Forum on Securities Litigation and Enforcement, is the only event in the industry where experienced in-house counsel, leading litigators, renowned jurists, and regulatory and enforcement officials from federal and state agencies will assemble in our nation’s capital to provide the highest level insights on the most current developments in the field.
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Duane Morris partner Marvin G. Pickholz has recently co-authored “Recent Federal Court Decisions Revitalize the Government’s Civil Enforcement Power Under FIRREA,” which appeared in the July/August issue of the Financial Fraud Law Report.
In its latest wave of civil actions, the Department of Justice has resurrected an old weapon to wield in a new way: the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (“FIRREA”). Consistent with Congress’s tendency to pass ill-defined legislation and then leave it to the courts to later flush out and shape the law, FIRREA was passed in a sweeping flurry of legislation aimed at addressing a pressing issue, and then lay dormant for many years. Similar to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, over two decades after its creation, FIRREA has now resurfaced in federal cases involving financial fraud and is likely to create more disincentives for a company or individual to litigate against the government.
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The historical location data of a given individual’s cellular telephone can be put to a startling array of uses by state and federal law enforcement. Really, it is not hard to figure out how. Cellular phones send out signals at short time intervals in order to establish the presence of a nearby cell tower and to connect to it as required. This location information is recorded and preserved by the industry’s various service providers—T-Mobile, Sprint and the like.
The police have figured it out. If one can find the cell phone; in most cases, you can find its user and/or owner.
On 27th June 2013, the UK announced more details of new rules that would introduce Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs) into the UK for corporate offences. DPAs have been the weapon of choice for US regulators when prosecuting bribery and corruption cases, and the hope is that DPAs will bring greater predictability for those wishing to settle a case with prosecutors on both sides of the Atlantic.
Both civil and criminal agencies charged with enforcing U.S. laws have turned increasingly to broad based use of “asset freeze orders.” Legal counsel and their clients should understand the issue, particularly as there is a split in the Circuits and the Supreme Court has not yet addressed the issue. On June 19, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued an opinion “clarifying” its 1991 decision in U.S. v. Monsanto, where it held that a (criminal) defendant who wishes to use frozen funds for their defense is entitled to a pretrial hearing to determine whether there is probable cause to believe the defendant committed the crimes that formed the basis for the forfeiture and whether the funds are forfeitable. In U.S. v. Bonventre, the Second Circuit ruled that a defendant must first make a “threshold showing” that a Monsanto hearing is warranted.
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We wrote earlier this year on the Fourth Amendment issue presented in Maryland v. King: whether a Maryland statute that allows the state to obtain DNA samples via “cheek swabs” from arrested individuals, as one step in the state’s routine booking and processing procedure, is an invalid warrantless search.
On June 6, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced [http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2013/2013-102.htm] that it secured an emergency order freezing over $3 million in profits of a trader based in Bangkok, Thailand. The trader is suspected of trading on insider information about the multi-billion dollar acquisition by China-based Shuanghui International Holdings of Smithfield Foods. The speed of the SEC’s investigation is extraordinary and appears to establish its template for future global insider trading investigations, as we predicted back in April.
While the SEC has taken the fast lead on this case, as most experienced defense lawyers will know, the DOJ is surely lurking closely near. We should expect to see criminal action in this case.