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Apple's Insider Trading Expert Accused of Selling Before Bad News

Gene Daniel Levoff, who was Apple's senior director of corporate law, made some bad trades with his company shares.

He didn't lose money on the deals. According to reports, he sold nearly $10 million in stock over five days in 2015.

The bad part, says the Security and Exchange Commission, was that he sold his shares based on inside information.

The recent wildfires that devastated California will have a lasting impact beyond the lives and homes destroyed. The company that is allegedly responsible for starting the Northern California Camp Fire, Pacific Gas and Electric, has stated its intention to declare bankruptcy due to the liabilities created by the wildfire's damage.

Declaring bankruptcy could leave investors and victims of wildfire taking severe financial losses, but as the company expressed, it may be the only way for the company to continue to operate. If the bankruptcy goes through, it would seem that creditors will likely be forced to take severe cuts, while customers bear the burden over the next few years due to rate hikes.

New Yorkers Are Really Liking Their Lawyers Right Now

Who'd have thought that lawyers would be popular again -- especially in New York?!

After attorneys were caught on video in racist rants in the Big Apple last year, it turns out that legal services are back in demand there. According to a new report, New York is leading the country in corporate legal spend.

Corporations in the state are spending 12 percent more over last year, but the survey says legal departments are spending more everywhere. That's right corporate America, we're talking to you.

For many companies considering the use of blockchain technology, one potential drawback is the whole "public-ledger" part. And while some blockchain tech being developed today does not rely on a fully public ledge, often the ledger is still shared, or can be accessed by others.

The problem with a public ledger is that, often, a business's transaction ledger contains private, and/or trade secret, information, like customer/client lists and more. That means that using a blockchain that is shared by outsiders to record transactions, and other data, could leave a company's private info exposed.

Fortunately, when technology creates a problem, it often creates a solution. The zk-SNARK is the solution to this potential privacy problem underlying the use of blockchain technology by businesses and even consumers.

Startup Boards Aren't Holding Founders Accountable, VC Warns

To hear Bill Gurley tell the story about inside the boardroom, it sounds like venture capitalists are afraid.

They tip-toe around the conference table, trying to avoid the elephant in the room. They don't want to ask the founders to, gulp, "perform financially."

"Our business has gotten super competitive," Gurley said at a technology conference. "What the venture capitalist is afraid of is losing the next big one."

General Counsel Are Paid More in Stock Than Cash

For most general counsel, the pot of gold is actually filled with stock.

That's what it looks like in a new report on general counsel pay trends anyway. According to Equilar, 62 percent of GC pay at the largest companies last year was delivered in stock. At tech companies, regardless of size, about 63 percent of the compensation was in stock.

The trend confirms that the biggest paydays sometimes depend entirely on market value -- the company's, not the attorney's.

Tips for Shoestring Startups With No Investors

'Shoestring budgets,' according to American Heritage, came from British prisoners who lowered shoes by their laces from windows to collect money from passers-by.

Fact or fiction, everybody who starts a company knows the meaning of a shoestring budget. It means they don't have a lot of money to run the business.

Still, the British tale works because to start a business you may have to beg, borrow, but not steal -- unless you want to join the prisoners in the story. Here are some tips for startups that don't want traditional investors:

Utah Approves White-Collar Crime Registry

There are the sex-offender registries, and then there's the white-collar crime registry. Utah can take credit for being the first state to pioneer such a thing.

The registry seems to have sprung out of a need to keep track of the state's rising incidents of something known as "affinity fraud."

In-House Salary Trends Remain Stable

According to a report composed of data compiled by Major, Lindsey & Africa Consultants, in-house lawyers enjoyed relatively stable incomes from 2014 to 2015. But Miriam Frank, Vice President of MLA, cautioned that the numbers may mislead because some compensation is classified as an equity, not compensation.

Justice Dept. Seeks Clarification on Insider Trading

Last week, the United States went back to the Second Circuit to ask for a rehearing in United States v. Newman, where that court overturned the convictions of two hedge fund managers for trading on inside information.

The Second Circuit rejected Newman and Chiasson's convictions on a "tipper/tippee" theory of liability, prompting onlookers to urge Congress to clarify what the heck qualifies as insider trading.