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March 14, 2013
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Legal News in Brief

  Corporate Spotlight 
  • SEC says big banks don't have to hold votes over breaking up
    The Securities and Exchange Commission will not recommend any action if banks decide not to conduct shareholder votes to explore breaking up the companies, the regulatory agency said in letters to JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley. SEC lawyers determined that the measures proposed would not allow the banks to determine "with any reasonable certainty exactly what actions or measures" were required. Reuters (3/14), The Wall Street Journal/Deal Journal blog (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • White hearing highlights SEC challenges
    Mary Jo White's testimony before the Senate banking committee focused on challenges she might face if she becomes head of the Securities and Exchange Commission. White has addressed issues of stricter enforcement, high-frequency trading and resolving her possible conflicts of interest. "The American public will be my client, and I will work as zealously as is possible on behalf of them," she said. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/DealBook blog (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  National News 
  Legislative Dispatch 
  • SEC user-fee bill to be proposed again
    Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., says she will introduce a bill within days that would give the Securities and Exchange Commission authority to impose user fees to cover the cost of examining investment advisers. The measure is identical to one Waters introduced last year; it failed to make it to a vote in the House Financial Services Committee before the congressional session ended in December. InvestmentNews (free registration) (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Employment Focus 
  • Harvard's e-mail scandal raises questions of workplace privacy
    Many Harvard faculty members have expressed dismay since learning that the university secretly searched the e-mail accounts of 16 deans, but court cases involving workplace privacy indicate that Harvard probably didn't do anything illegal, L.V. Anderson writes. Even if employees can show that they have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their work e-mail accounts, employers can still monitor workers' e-mails if they have a good reason to do so, Anderson writes. Slate (3/11), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Supreme Court and Federal Court Watch 
  • Sequestration will take a toll on the judiciary, judge says
    The judiciary will have to find a way to reduce its budget by $350 million as a result of sequestration. More than $90 million in reductions will come out of salaries, meaning that furloughs or layoffs may be coming, according to this blog post. "The judiciary cannot continue to operate at sequestration funding levels without seriously compromising the constitutional mission of the federal courts," said U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Julia Gibbons. The Blog of Legal Times (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Other Legal News 
  • Apps aim to simplify legal process for clients
    A number of mobile applications enable clients to make better sense of the legal system and their attorneys' work -- software that some lawyers are praising and providing to their clients. "It helps them to understand what we do," said Brian Baker, a bankruptcy attorney. For example, Viewabill enables clients to keep an eye on their legal bills and track attorneys' billable hours. The Wall Street Journal (3/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Professional and Business Development 
  • How to increase your influence
    Just because you're in a position of authority doesn't mean you have influence, says Mark Goulston, author of "Real Influence: Persuade Without Pushing and Gain Without Giving In." To become a power influencer, you must be ready to stand by others in a crisis and push others to succeed even when they may believe they'll fail, he says. "A power influencer is someone who influences you for a lifetime," he says. The Fast Track (3/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 3 ways to recover from career disappointments
    Deborah Grayson Riegel writes that a professional disappointment was a blow to her ego, but also "the kick in the butt I needed to develop a thicker skin, more personal and professional resilience, and yes, a more strategic business plan than 'pray that nothing changes, ever.' " She provides strategies for handling disappointment, such as understanding how it might highlight some weakness that needs to be corrected. Fast Company online (3/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  PLI News 
  • Transactional Attorneys Could Take a Cue from Litigators
    In their new comprehensive guide to contract interpretation, Vincent Martorana and Michael Zitelli of Reed Smith say that transactional attorneys could benefit from viewing contracts with a litigator's eye. The guide covers everything from interpretation principles and case law to defining ambiguity to specific substantive areas such as arbitration and indemnification. Check it out today on PLI's Securities Law Practice Center. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • No Ethical Whammies ... No Ethical Whammies ...
    Matrimonial attorneys must deal with a wide range of highly sensitive and personal matters and must be particularly mindful of ethical obligations to clients, courts and third parties. At this March 28 program, match wits with our all-star panel as you play The Ethics Game Show: Matrimonial and Family Law Edition 2013. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose."
--Bill Gates,
American businessman


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