• George Clooney, Babysitters, and Overseas Employees: Recent Developments in Whistleblower Retaliation Claims

    By Timothy Crudo and Sean Kiley, Originally published in Bloomberg BNA: Securities Regulation & Law Report

    Recent whistleblower developments have practitioners asking some interesting questions. Are whistleblowers protected even if they don’t work at public companies? Should companies be worried about their employees’ babysitters? What about their overseas employees? And just how does George Clooney figure into all of this anyway?

    Some of these questions spring from the recent Supreme Court decision in Lawson v. FMR LLC, 134 S.Ct. 1158 (2014), which examined whether Sarbanes- Oxley’s whistleblower protections extend to employees of private contractors working with public companies and, if so, how far. While this decision has attracted much of the public attention, the issue of protection for overseas whistleblowers, which has the potential for significantly greater impact, and a less definitive resolution, than that decided in Lawson, has quietly been making its way through the lower courts.

    Click here to continue reading the full article.

  • Tim Crudo quoted in “On Haag’s Watch, White-Collar Cases Take Dive”

    Tim Crudo is quoted in “On Haag’s Watch, White-Collar Cases Take Dive” by Julia Love, The Recorder
    May 23, 2014

    SAN FRANCISCO — The last time Silicon Valley was booming, the U.S. attorney’s office was in hot pursuit.

    With Robert Mueller at the helm of the office from 1998 to 2001, a specialized team aggressively targeted corporate wrongdoing and insider trading fueled by the dot-com bubble. But with money coursing through the Valley once more, there’s been a curious quiet from U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag.

    Many in the bar hoped that Haag, an Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe partner who served as Mueller’s white-collar chief, would bring about a renaissance in high-impact fraud cases as the Bay Area’s top federal prosecutor. But three years into her tenure, white-collar prosecutions have slumped nearly 40 percent, according to data from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a nonpartisan research institute at Syracuse University that tracks criminal enforcement. Overall case numbers have also fallen, albeit less dramatically, according to TRAC.
    . . .
    With new companies constantly cropping up, many of which aim to disrupt established industries and business practices, the Valley is a vexing region to police, lawyers say.
    . . .
    “At the margin, there are more controls, and it makes it more difficult,” said former Northern District prosecutor Timothy Crudo, who is now a white-collar partner at Coblentz, Patch, Duffy and Bass. “But it’s not going to stop all fraud.”

    Click here to read the full article from The Recorder.

    Categories: News
  • Gregg Ficks Co-chairs JCF Business Leadership Breakfast

    The Jewish Community Federation’s Business Leadership Council hosted its annual Business Leadership Breakfast on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. Coblentz partner Gregg Ficks, a Steering Committee member of the BLC, co-chaired and co-hosted the event. The JCF Business Leadership Council’s premier professional networking event was themed “Tech Innovators Inspiring Social Change,” and featured keynote speaker Randi Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media and Editor-in-Chief of Dot Complicated online community. It also included the presentation of the Business Leadership Award, honoring a member of the business community who demonstrates professional and philanthropic leadership, to Bobby Lent.

    Categories: Events
  • Real Estate Alert: Affordable Housing ‘Metering’ Legislation Introduced

    Supervisor Jane Kim recently introduced legislation that would create a Special Use District (SUD) to encourage maintenance of the existing ratio of affordable housing units (roughly 30%) to market rate units (70%) within the SUD. The boundaries of the proposed SUD correspond, more or less, with Supervisor Kim’s voting district, which includes the Tenderloin, a large portion of SOMA and Treasure Island. See the map by clicking here.

    The legislation would require the Planning Department to maintain an ongoing inventory of affordable and market rate units in the SUD in order ascertain the “cumulative housing balance ratio.” Projects that propose to construct at least ten market rate housing units would be required to obtain Conditional Use (CU) authorization from the Planning Commission (appealable to the Board of Supervisors) whenever the ratio of affordable housing units in the SUD falls below 30% or the Planning Department is not able to ascertain the current ratio.

    Click here to read the full alert.