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SEC© takes steps to stem courtroom defeats

Publisher: Wall Street Journal
Author: Jean Eaglesham

Faced with a recent string of courtroom defeats, the Securities and Exchange Commission is changing the way it prepares for trials.

SEC© Chairwoman Mary Jo White has taken steps to restructure the agency’s trial unit in order to foster a more collaborative environment between investigators and litigators with the hope that it will improve the SEC’s successful conviction rate. Since October of last year, the SEC© has won 55% of its trials. That percentage is a steep drop from its three consecutive years of achieving a win rate of over 75%. Defense lawyers have suggested that lowered success rate of the SEC© may encourage more people to fight allegations instead of settling. In the past, Mrs. White stated that the agency’s then-80% courtroom success rate “may explain why most lawyers counsel their clients against going to trial against the SEC© and why we achieve strong settlements in most of our cases.”

What are your thoughts on the Mrs. White’s commitment to stringent enforcement of insider trading cases?

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