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Your company's overzealous protection of its secrets could put it on the wrong side of Dodd-Frank. The Dodd-Frank Act Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, passed in 2010, sought to make it much easier for employees to report corporate wrong doing. And the SEC has made it clear that company confidentiality agreements that impede whistleblowing can violate that law. Just last spring, the SEC settled one of its first confidentiality-based enforcement actions, claiming that a corporate confidentiality agreement was unlawful "pretaliation."

Now, the SEC has severance agreements in its sights as well. The Commission recently took action against two companies whose pretty standard severance agreements the SEC felt violated Dodd-Frank. It might be time to redo your standard severance agreements before the SEC comes your way, too.

In early April, the Department of Labor issued its long-awaited final rules for financial advisors handling retirement accounts. And you don't have to work for a large investor for the rules to affect you. We all, after all, have a 401(k) or IRA. And now the rules governing how advisors handle those accounts -- worth trillions of dollars -- are a bit more complicated.

Here's what you need to know.

It just got a little easier for in-house and transactional attorneys to know if their legal documents meet current standards. Thomson Reuters's Drafting Assistant, the only end-to-end transactional drafting software solution in the world, just added a new "locate precedent" feature that allows you to compare your draft to similar documents, one clause at a time. (Disclosure: Thomson Reuters is FindLaw's parent company.)

That means greater confidence, quicker drafting, and many fewer errors sneaking through. That's great news for in-house attorneys.

A New York brokerage CEO was sentenced to six months in prison last Thursday, after admitting to falsifying invoices provided to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Charles Moore, CEO of the broker-dealer Crucible Capital Group, pleaded guilty last November to obstructing an SEC investigation into Crucible's filing inaccurate net capital figures with the Commission.

Moore, it seems, had instructed a young employee to create false invoices, obscuring Crucible's debts.

Bloomberg announced on Tuesday that it had bought up the intellectual property and patents of Netbox Blue, an Australian company that provides social media risk management and compliance services. Netbox Blue's tech will be used as part of Bloomberg Vault, the company's enterprise compliance platform.

Bloomberg Vault's customers are primarily financial services firms and the newly-acquired technology could be used to help them catch an errant tweet, email, or instant message before it lands the company in trouble with the SEC or FINRA.

SEC Announces $325,000 Whistleblowing Award

The SEC just announced a $325,000 award given to a former investment firm employee who blew the whistle to the SEC with specific information that allowed the federal agency to begin an investigation that later uncovered extensive fraudulent activity at the tipster's ex-employer.

CFTC: Adopt New Security Measures, Or Else?

Congress created the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 1974 to, alongside the National Futures Association, oversee commodities trading in this country. Since then, the CFTC's regulatory power has expanded further and further.

Last month, the CFTC greenlit the latest strap-tightening policy suggestions by the NFA: members of the NFA "should" implement stronger cybersecurity policies. f you're in the commodities or derivatives industry, get ready to make some changes.

Pay Ratio Regulations Coming Soon. Are You Ready?

'Tis the Season for Corporate Oversight. In house can likely feel the mounting tension in the air ...

The latest blow to corporate and financial opacity was adopted by the SEC on August 5, 2015 -- and many people didn't even know about it. On that day, the SEC voted to implement Sec. 953(b) of the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires companies to disclose a pay-ratio gap (chasm?) between the CEO's total compensation and the median annual total compensation of all other company employees.

This new change in Federal Law is likely a source of tension among business executives who are eager to deflect attention away from the fact that the average S&P 500 CEO makes 216 times more than the average employee of the same company.

SCOTUS Gives Insider Trading a Pass

In a move that is sure to inflame the passions of Occupiers (a la, the 99 percent), SCOTUS refused, on Wednesday, to review a decision by the Second Circuit which threw out the convictions of hedge fund managers Anthony Chiasson and Todd Newman. The decision came as a major blow to both US Attorney Preet Bharara and the US Justice Department's attempt to crackdown on insider trading in the midst of increasing disapproval from the public.

SCOTUS' refusal all but affirms the Second Circuit's narrow definition of insider trading.

Companies are much more willing to part with millions of dollars than to admit that they have done wrong and violated the law. Settlements with enforcement agencies, the Securities and Exchange Commission chief among them, almost never require companies to admit wrongdoing -- almost.

For the past two years, the SEC has been pursuing such admissions more fervently. Under a new-ish policy, the Commission requires admissions of wrongdoing in "egregious" cases.