After leading the Federal Community Defender Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for 14 years, Leigh Skipper is joining Duane Morris’ white-collar defense division at the end of June.
Skipper, who has served as chief federal defender for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania since 2009, is slated to join the firm’s Philadelphia headquarters June 27 after serving his last day at the federal community defender office on June 17. The move brings Duane Morris a public defender’s perspective in government investigations and commercial litigation following a slew of prosecutor-side hires.
To read the full text of this article, which originally appeared in The Legal Intelligencer, please visit the firm website.
As the crypto industry continues to grow and market volatility remains high, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced its plan to increase its regulation of the area. The SEC’s Crypto Assets and Cyber Unit, which was created in 2017, will expand from thirty to fifty positions. The unit is tasked with protecting investors from crypto-related frauds and scams. The increase in staffing will allow for more investor protection focused on the areas of crypto asset offerings, crypto asset exchanges, crypto asset lending and staking practices, decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and stablecoins. The twenty additional positions will mostly consist of supervisors, investigative staff attorneys, trial counsels, and fraud analysts. Continue reading “The SEC Ramps Up Efforts to Police Crypto Industry”
On October 28, 2021, Deputy United States Attorney General Lisa Monaco issued a memorandum marking the first major announcement on corporate criminal enforcement from the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) under the Biden Administration (“Monaco Memo”). Most notably, this memorandum: (1) reinstates the Individual Accountability Policy originally announced in the Yates Memo and (2) guides prosecutors to look at all prior misconduct, not just those instances similar to the misconduct at issue in the present investigation. Continue reading “DOJ Reinstates and Augments Prior Corporate Criminal Enforcement Policies: Now Requiring Disclosure of ALL Involved Individuals and Consideration of ALL Prior Corporate Misconduct”
On July 1, 2021, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland published a memorandum that rescinds two previous memoranda―the Sessions Memorandum and Brand Memorandum―that prohibited Department of Justice attorneys from using noncompliance with federal agency guidance documents as a basis for civil and criminal enforcement cases. Garland’s memorandum states these previous policies were “overly restrictive,” “discouraged the development of valuable guidance” and hindered DOJ’s litigation of cases when relevant agency guidance was available.
To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.
Companies have long sought to prevent their competitors — particularly in skilled fields like life sciences, health care, software development and engineering — from benefiting from the talents and training of their employees.
Examples of such efforts include noncompete agreements between employers and employees, and carefully worded joint venture agreements that prohibit one partner from insourcing the know-how of another partner.
Although noncompete agreements between employers and employees have been subject to scrutiny for years, agreements between employers to restrict solicitation of each other’s employees or to fix employee wages have largely flown under the radar.
In fact, it was not until a little over four years ago that federal antitrust enforcers signaled that such agreements could be presumed illegal and criminally prosecuted. And even that policy change, significant though it was, did not bring an immediate uptick in enforcement activity.
That wait now appears to be over. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division has recently been aggressively bringing enforcement actions against labor market collusion, with more cases on the horizon.
To read the full text of this article (originally published in Law360) by Duane Morris partners Christopher Casey, Sean McConnell and Brian Pandya, please visit the firm website.
By Matthew Caminiti
The appeal of a 2016 murder conviction in Contra Costa County Superior Court, California has brought front and center a new problem facing trial courts: the constitutionality of peremptorily striking jurors who indicate their support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Continue reading “Constitutionality of Peremptorily Striking Jurors Who Support the Black Lives Matter Movement”
By Nicolette J. Zulli
Following weeks of protests ignited by the death of George Floyd, a storm of social media activism, and bipartisan calls for reforms to policing, the difficult issue of whether the legal doctrine of qualified immunity should survive has emerged onto the national center stage. Continue reading “Destined for Demise?—The Fate of the Qualified Immunity Doctrine Remains Uncertain Amid Newest Federal and State Policing Reform Efforts”
By Mary P. Hansen and Nicolette J. Zulli
On June 22, 2020, the Supreme Court, in an 8 to 1 decision, held in Liu v. SEC that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) may seek “disgorgement” in federal court actions in amounts which do not exceed a wrongdoers’ net profits and are, if possible, ultimately returned to victims pursuant 15 U.S.C. § 78u(d)(5), which authorizes the SEC to seek “equitable” relief. Continue reading “All’s Fair in Crime and Disgorgement: Supreme Court Upholds SEC’s Authority to Disgorge Ill-Gotten Gains with Limitations”
In the wake of national protests against police brutality surrounding the death of George Floyd, and ongoing national debate for police reform, New York lawmakers have seized the opportunity to take a stand against law enforcement’s use of a controversial surveillance technique, known as the geofence warrant, or “reverse location search.” Continue reading “Scaling the (Geo)Fence: New York Lawmakers Push to Outlaw Geofence Warrants amid Ongoing National Debate for Police Reform”
By Brett M. Feldman and Jessica Linse
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, law enforcement officials throughout the country have publicly committed to aggressively combatting pandemic-related fraud. Those pronouncements have translated into action focused, at least at this early stage, upon frauds which might impact consumers’ health and safety. The first federal civil enforcement action took place on Saturday, March 21, 2020. On that date, the U.S. Department of Justice, in coordination with the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas, filed the first civil enforcement action against a COVID-19 related fraud. Prosecutors sought an injunction shutting down a website, which purportedly offered to provide “free” coronavirus “vaccine kits” for a $4.95 shipping and handling fee. This request for injunctive relief, which resulted in a temporary restraining order pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1345, is likely an omen of more to come. Continue reading “U.S. Department of Justice Files Civil Complaint for COVID-19-Related Fraud”